Hundreds of Turlock public school students have some fresh swag and new school supplies to conquer the remainder of the school year following a special delivery from local law enforcement on Wednesday morning.
Members of the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department K-9 Association and the department’s STARS Volunteer program made stops at Brown Elementary, Earl Elementary, Osborn Two-Way Immersion, Walnut Elementary and Dutcher Middle School to drop off backpacks and school supplies. The supplies were provided through a $3,000 grant courtesy of Walmart Neighborhood Market on 2480 Geer Rd. in Turlock.
“We’re very grateful for Walmart Neighborhood Market,” said STARS Volunteer Bill Terra. “It’s always a great experience to give back.”
This was the third year of the organization’s coming together to drop off school supplies in Stanislaus County, with recipient schools rotating each year. Deputy Brandon Silva served as the lead for the K-9 Association this year. At each stop, the volunteers and officers handed supplies out to students and educators while also posing for photos.
“This is one of the most rewarding things we do,” said Silva. “Our goal with the Association is to engage with the community and to educate the public on our K-9s and how they fight crime and keep our community safe. This program pretty much hits all of those points, being out there with the kids, having fun with them and educating...”
But they weren’t the most popular visitors.
“As soon as the dog comes out, you can guess where all the attention turns to,” joked Terra.
Terra was referring to Buzz, a Belgium Malinois canine handled by Deputy Michael Sierra.
“Just to see the smiles and excitement on the faces of the kids was great,” Terra said.
Supplies included backpacks, pencils, crayons, glue sticks and markers. The organizations plan to continue handing out school supplies to Stanislaus County schools in future years.
“As law enforcement, we know that we need the necessary tools to be able to do our jobs to the best of our abilities, and the same goes for students,” Silva said. “Kids need the tools too to focus and be as successful as they can be. This reinstalls that importance.”
For more information on the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department K-9 Association and the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department STARS Volunteer program head to www.ssk9.com and www.scsdonline.com/other/stars-1.