Twin Falls Police officers share love of reading through virtual "read alongs"

Posted at 3:22 PM, Apr 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 16:58:43-04

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Police officers with the Twin Falls Police Department are reaching out to the community in a unique way, and it all started with the idea of one of their officers.

"He kind of really liked the idea and so he inquired, 'Is that something we'd be interested in?' and we said 'Absolutely,'" said J.P. O'Donnell, a Twin Falls Police Officer.

TFPD has been sharing videos on their social media accounts of officers sharing their love of reading through virtual "read alongs."

"Things are just uncertain, you know? We have a lot of children that are out of school, we have parents that are trying to become teachers as well as working from home," said Chief of Police Craig Kingsbury. "We're hoping by us reading stories that the youngsters would like and enjoy that we can help the parents and connect with the children of our community and even beyond."

In the videos, officers take turns reading favorite childrens' books, some brought from home and others borrowed from the Twin Falls Public Library.

Officials with TFPD say the goal is to spread positivity in the community, especially in these turbulent times. They also say the read alongs have already been a huge success!

Right now, depending on who the officer reading is, reading times are Mondays and Wednesdays at either 3:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m.

The department says holding the read alongs in iconic Twin Falls locations is also a chance to showcase some of what Twin Falls has to offer.

"Trying to mix it up a little bit and incorporate some of the different things that make Twin Falls such a great community," said Chief Kingsbury.

You don't have to be a child to enjoy the videos. Police say all ages are welcome.

"We've seen adults enjoy it, not only that but we've seen adults requesting books and probably some of those were favorites of them as a child," O'Donnell said. "Even though these are kids' books geared toward kids, they love it."

The Twin Falls Police Department aren't the only ones who are doing this, other groups are considering starting readalongs as well.