Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
How long has it been since you’ve been in the classroom or even a school? Have you ever seen an SRO in action? You could be a piece of a larger puzzle toward success! On behalf of Lathrop Elementary, I want to thank those who have made a difference just recently and during our Back to School Night.
It is impressive to see our community step up and help make success happen. A BIG thank you goes out to the Lathrop Cub Scouts and the City of Lathrop for their generous contributions of school supplies. From back packs to notebooks, pens and more, the community stepped up to help those students in need who wouldn’t otherwise have access to the supplies needed beyond paper and pencils.
Another thank you to the Masonic Lodge for their interest in children. The other night, the Masons came and brought with them the Child ID program. Over 62 young children had their fingerprints and photos taken in case an emergency ever came up. Some might say that 62 out of a 1000 student is a small number. I say, that’s 62 more than yesterday!
Give Every Child A Chance was there to promote their free 1:1 tutoring program and the ASAP program. With the support of GECAC volunteers, so many students are reached academically, and socially, where several of the children would otherwise go without the needed support or bond created through positive interactions. One cannot support a better program!
Lastly, and beyond Back to School Night, a program that we all appreciate or might not really know about due to its silent impact, Lathrop’s SRO Program.
Most of the time, when you hear of police activity, you think of the officer on the street or roaming around in the car or on a motorcycle handing out tickets or making arrests. Little is ever said or seen in regards to the School Resource Officer. It is hard times economically and it has hit us all including the school district. However, the SRO program in Lathrop has always been a strong entity of our community.
When I arrived at Lathrop Elementary four years ago, we had the greatest SRO anyone could ever have, Officer Rudy Lovato. Rudy left us for Iraq and later returned, but not to Lathrop. Rudy has moved on and is helping others on the outskirts of Stockton. Now, for the last two years, we have had Another great officer, Bill Roachford in conjunction with his counterpart CRO (Community Resource Officer), Officer Andrea Lopez.
You cannot imagine half the things that the Lathrop SRO and CRO do for our four school sites in Lathrop. From the most visible DARE program and the Junior Police Academy to the less visible impact of family assistance, gang deterrence, student intervention, and much more. Kudos to you, the City of Lathrop and the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department, for supporting our schools and the families of Lathrop when others are unable to put forth the commitment during these tough economic times; probably when we need this resource the most!
Recently, without the intervention of our SRO, one more student, someone’s child, would have gone down the wrong path in life. Family and School Personnel were not able to do what the SRO did and hopefully will continue to do; get that student and their family the help they needed to get back on track. When students have turmoil at home, it’s really hard to focus on their academics or bonds with their peers and other adults.
As educators, we see and hear so much beyond what everyone else can ever imagine. Some of the images are hard to forget.
Having been at a school with an SRO, community support, and a growing commitment of parent volunteers, one cannot show enough appreciation! We always heard the quote about needing a village to raise a child, my quote is that everyone is a piece to the puzzle of success. In fact, the other day I went home, still thinking of one of our students, and told my two sons that they were pretty fortunate to have what they have; stability! My kids continue to show success with ease (not that times are trying), but there are others out there who only can gain success through the support of others.
Thank you again Lathrop for the pieces you have brought to Lathrop Elementary students, their families, and our overall puzzle for success!
Principal, Lathrop Elementary School