About our Cops 'n' Kids Reading Room Easton

Director’s Message

judy-dickerson

JUDITH A. DICKERSON
Cops ’n’ Kids of Easton Director

As the Cops ’n’ Kids of Easton Director, Judith values good reading skills as the critical key to one’s success of gaining a good education K-12 and beyond. She was fortunate to have a family history and support of three generations of college educated family members to keep her focused and on track. Recognizing that not every child is so fortunate, Cops ‘n’ Kids Children’s Literacy Program, became an instrument chosen in retirement in 2009 to use her time in continuing to give back to the community. By being a link to the next generation of youth helping them to gain the skills for a productive and independent life with the necessary ability to be good readers and to think critically, her passion is promoting literacy by book distribution to all children.

Career pursuits included working with and advocating for children and young adults as a speech therapist in the public schools of Detroit and Chicago, along with private practice; corporate and non-profit experience, and college administration. She has devoted over thirty years of her work life supporting targeted groups of young people. Her exposure to the national initiative, Cops’n’ Kids Children’s Literacy Program, founded in 1997 by Racine, Wisconsin police officer, Julia Burney Witherspoon, along with prompting from Easton residents resulted in the opening of the Cops ’n’ Kids of Easton Reading Room in June, 2011, with the support and assistance of the Easton Area Police Athletic League, Easton Area Community Center and the Easton Weed and Seed program and other community volunteers. In a time and environment where nothing is free, the community of volunteers, local schools and colleges, organizations, business, churches, police and firefighters have come together to make Cops ’n’ Kids of Easton a reality with events and books distributed – free.

The Cops ’n’Kids mission is “connecting kids and community through literacy.” The program accomplishes this by

  • Ensuring that every child has access, in his or her home, to books and the knowledge inspiration and hope that such access can provide.
  • Encouraging positive relationships between the children and the police.
  • Inspiring creative learning and awareness for children and families by providing meaningful literacy-based experiences.
 

Having embraced the term “Freadom” in the Reading Room, Cops ’n’ Kids of Easton seeks to give all children the access to books and reading opportunities that will provide them with the ability to be free – free to be, to imagine possibilities, to understand themselves and the world around them and to determine their role in it. Judith’s passion is realized in the opportunity to connect others in the community who share this passion for reading and recognize its importance in our children’s lives and their future.

History

Cops ‘n’ Kids is an international program started by Racine, Wisconsin Police Officer Julia Burney Witherspoon in 1997. As a recipient of an award from Oprah in 2000, she opened the first Reading Room.  On June 4, 2011, the Easton Reading Room joined the network of over forty centers, worldwide. With the mission to connect kids and community through literacy, the Easton Reading Room became a reality with the financial sponsorship of the Easton Area Police Athletic League and the support of many community resources, including the Weed and Seed Program and the Easton Area Community Center.

Cops ‘n’ Kids of Easton mission is Connecting Kids and Community through Literacy.  The program accomplishes this by

  • Ensuring that every child has access, in his or her home, to books and the knowledge, inspiration and hope that such access can provide.
  • Encouraging positive relationships between children and the police
  • Inspiring creative learning and awareness for children and families by providing meaningful literacy-based experiences.
 

Cops ‘n’ Kids is a sponsored program of the Easton Area Police Athletic League , a non-profit 501c3 organization, is a youth crime prevention program that utilizes educational, athletic and recreational activities to create trust and understanding between police officers and youth. It is based on the conviction that young people- if reached early enough- can develop strong positive attitudes towards police officers in their journey through life toward the goal of maturity and good citizenship.

Community & Collaboration

The Cops ’n’ Kids of Easton Children’s Literacy Program has been established to demonstrate to our children the commitment of our community to their growth and well-being. Partnerships are established and cultivated with the Easton area educational community, police and fire departments, municipal leaders, businesses, organizations, and caring, committed volunteers who personally or through membership in organizations, devote valued time to positively impact the lives of our children.

Services provided include:

  • Collecting new and gently used books from books drives and individual donations made at designated locations in the Easton area.
  • Storing, sorting and labeling books for future distribution.
  • Partnering with the Easton Area Community Center to provide the Reading Room that maintains fully stocked book shelves where children and parents are encouraged to stop in to share time reading stories and to select free books, as well as to interact with police officers.
  • Distributing books to youth throughout the Easton area by supplementing school and organization libraries, reading programs of local organizations, distributing books at community events.
  • Bringing the community into the schools to read to the students whenever possible with volunteers that include police officers, high school and college students, municipal leaders, retired teachers, and members of the business community and local organizations.

Donate Books

Put a smile on the face of a child by donating new or gently used books to Cops ‘n’ Kids.  Books help children to develop an understanding of habits and traits that will make it possible for them to live into possibilities of life.  Donated books help provide a healthy frame of reference for the children to have a guide for good decision – making and to being able to exercise control of their own lives.  For some children, a book from Cops ‘ n’ Kids is the first book that they can call their very own.

How You Can Help

  • Donate books  that  your children may have outgrown.
  • Select books from flea markets and garage sales that a child might like to read.
  • Purchase  an extra book or two for a child as you shop.
  • Conduct a book drive for Cops ‘n’ Kids.

Guidelines for a Cops ’n’ Kids Book Drive

Book Drop- Off Sites:

  • Easton Police Department  * 25 South Third Street * Easton
  • Family YMCA of Easton/Phillipsburg and Vicinity * 1225 West Lafayette Street  * Easton
  • Easton Area Community Center * 901 Washington Street * Easton

OUR VOLUNTEERS

Volunteers

The volunteers are the life-line of Cops ‘n’ Kids. The dedicated commitment of volunteers lets the children know that they are important, are valued and that the community cares about them and their future. By giving the children access to books, the doors of knowledge and inspiration are opened that allow children to dream of who they may become. Most importantly, volunteers provide the gift of personal time and attention through reading that a child may not otherwise receive.

Community Updates

National Night Out in Easton’s West Ward

National Night Out in Easton’s West Ward

August 3, 2021

August 3rd was National Night Out, an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live.

Cops ‘n’ Kids participated in National Night Out with the help of Easton Police Officers & Retired Detective Walt Howell.

Grand Opening of the Reading Room at Sigal Museum

Grand Opening of the Reading Room at Sigal Museum June 2021

Published: June 30, 2021

Sigal Museum welcomed guests  in the new Reading Room for the first time on June 26,2021. Lt. Dan Bonham, Easton Police Dept.  cut the ribbon  at the official opening.

Holly Houser, Sigal Museum Educational Director , Lt. Dan Bonham, Judith Dickerson , join forces to expand Reading  Room availability to more children and theirfamilies.

Barnes & Noble Bookfair – November 9

The sponsored fundraiser for Cops ‘n’ Kids of Easton will feature local author and educator, Tom Murray, whose book, Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow’s Schools, Today will be on sale. A percentage of the sales of all books, including designated “Wish List” books sold will be provided to Cops ‘n’ Kids of Easton.

Easton Holiday Tree Lighting

Launching the holiday season, twenty-eight third graders from the Easton Area School District elementary schools, Easton Area Community Center After-School program and Easton Arts Academy Elementary Charter School were invited by Cops ‘n’ Kids of Easton to represent themselves and their schools as the Mayor’s Assistants at two official Easton holiday tree lighting ceremonies. The students hung their decorated ornaments on the Easton Christmas tree in Scott Park and at Northampton Community College Community Educational Center in downtown Easton. Recently opened, providing courses as well as space for the Cops ‘n’ Kids of Easton Reading Room, the exuberant kids lit both trees with Mayor Panto.

DONATIONS

Become a CnK Reading Room Supporter Today!

  • Contributions

    Monetary contributions are gratefully accepted.  The financial donations help to purchase new books for special programs and requests from program partners.  Underwriting the cost of special projects is also welcomed support of Cops ‘n’ Kids.

    All monetary donations should be directed to the Cops ‘n’ Kids of Easton, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. All checks should be made out to the Cops ‘n’ Kids of Easton. Donors may be eligible for income tax consideration with their donation to the organization. No amount is too big or too small. It all makes possible the ability to bring joy into the lives children and to make a difference.

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    Financial Contributions
  • Donate Books

    Put a smile on the face of a child by donating new or gently used books to Cops ‘n’ Kids.  Books help children to develop an understanding of habits and traits that will make it possible for them to live into possibilities of life.  Donated books help provide a healthy frame of reference for the children to have a guide for good decision – making and to being able to exercise control of their own lives.  For some children, a book from Cops ‘ n’ Kids is the first book that they can call their very own.

    How You Can Help

    • Donate books  that  your children may have outgrown.
    • Select books from flea markets and garage sales that a child might like to read.
    • Purchase  an extra book or two for a child as you shop.
    • Conduct a book drive for Cops ‘n’ Kids.

    Guidelines for a Cops ’n’ Kids Book Drive

    Book Drop- Off Sites:

    • Easton Police Department  * 25 South Third Street * Easton
    • Family YMCA of Easton/Phillipsburg and Vicinity * 1225 West Lafayette Street  * Easton
    • Easton Area Community Center * 901 Washington Street * Easton
    Book Donations