NewsPositively Hampton Roads


Newport News Sheriff’s Office tutors elementary school students

Posted at 10:07 AM, Mar 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-07 10:08:04-05

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The Newport News Sheriff's Office: Catching criminals and cleaning up the streets one elementary student at a time.

"When he gets it he feels good and when I see that he feels good. We may high five, we do whatever it is to celebrate that win," Sheriff Gabriel Morgan said.

At McIntosh Elementary School for 45 minutes every Tuesday and Wednesday, it's not a game of good cop, bad cop - just tutors in uniform.

The volunteers are reading more than the students Miranda rights, and instead just sounding out basic words.

"They're looking at us, of course authority figures, some who may have not have had good experiences with law enforcement. Forward not to today when we come to the classroom they are running out, they are embracing us," Morgan said.

McIntosh is a Title I school, meaning a high percentage of students come from low income families.

Volunteers from the sheriff's office work with chosen students to improve their reading skills and grow their confidence. It's about showing them that under these uniforms is a friend who will show up for them every week.

"Someone who is there in their corner but not someone who is there temporarily. The volunteers from the Sheriffs department will actually be with their student throughout the entire school year," Principal Ethel Francis said.

Sheriff Morgan says it took time to build trust. Whatever the volunteers are doing, it must be working; the kids happily skip recess to read with their law enforcement buddy.

"Keep kids out of jail and out of negative contacts with law enforcement and one of the ways we can do that is by teaching kids how to read," Morgan said.