BROOKLAND, AR (KAIT) - A Craighead County Sheriff's Deputy pursued a suspect on the Brookland Elementary campus on Monday.
Brookland Elementary Principal Sandy McCall said one of their teachers was the victim of a theft over the weekend.
"Mrs. Jayne and her family went to St. Louis," McCall said. "When they got back to their hotel room they noticed some of their items were missing. Mrs. Jayne was missing her book, her husband was missing his watch, her son was missing his baseball and youngest son was missing his toy motorcycle."
After Mrs. Jayne reported the incident to the Craighead County Sheriff Deputy Bryan Skinner and students, everyone got involved.
"All of our students at Brookland Elementary are trying to solve this case," McCall said. "They've been warned and told about what has happened. And so, they're trying to figure out who might have gotten into their hotel room and taken their things. We also notified our school resource officer, Officer Bryan Skinner, to be on the lookout as well."
McCall said they organized this event to kickstart an exciting reading program.
"This event is for our One School, One Book program," McCall said. "This program is sponsored by the Read to Them Organization. The goal of this organization is to promote a culture of literacy in everyone's home. With this program, we select a book. And this year, we have selected the Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary as a book that all of our students will receive a copy. And the purpose of the program is to read with their family. Of course, this book is a lot harder than our kindergarteners and first graders could read. And it's not meant for them to read it by themselves. It's meant to read it with their parents. Their parents read to them and, as you know, it's very important to listen to good reading and share those experiences. And so, if we get everyone involved, the parents involved with their children, then everybody benefits. Not only do the students benefit from hearing from great readers, but the parents also benefit from the time they spend with their child. The conversations they have with their child. And just building background knowledge and modeling what good readers do. And that's what we're here for. To teach our children how to read and this is just a great program to encourage reading and everyone is involved."
McCall said this is the second year they've used this program and they've found it's very successful with the students.
"The children get so excited," McCall said. "They are just excited about the book we have selected. Last year, we read The World According to Humphry. It was about a little furry hamster. This year it's about a mouse named Ralph. And they love spending time with their families. Everyone's reading the same book. All of the teachers, everyone in the office, the nurses, the school resource officer, the parents. And so, we're all getting involved and jumping into this book and using our imagination and we're all doing the same thing. And so, we talk about the book. Different mornings after the children have read certain chapters we get to talk about the same literature. And it's great literature and we're just encouraging our students to love to read."
After spending the day trying to find Mrs. Jayne's thief, Deputy Skinner cracked the case.
Students watched in amazement later that afternoon as Deputy Skinner drove by chasing a mouse on a motorcycle.
After a pursuit that lasted a couple of blocks, Skinner drove up and returned Mrs. Jayne's stolen bag and items.
Students like kindergartener Christopher Jones were thrilled with what they witnessed.
"I think it was a mouse," Jones said. "On a motorcycle, because he wanted to be fast so he could get away. And I know how he got in there. He snuck in a window, but he used a ladder. When I get home I'm going to tell mom and dad to read this book to me."
First grader Noah Bailey acted delighted.
"I think it's really cool," Bailey said. "I've never seen a cop chase someone before. And I never thought of a rat as a robber."
First grader Lilly Baxter was equally impressed at seeing Deputy Skinner in action.
"I've never seen a mouse and the police," Baxter said. "And the police chasing the mouse and I've never seen a mouse on a motorcycle.
"They see the importance of reading," McCall said. "And how important it is for them at this age to learn how to read. And they also see how reading can take you away. A lot of times we have different problems and children have different problems. But when you read you get to escape some of the things they deal with and they get to go to this world and experience that world. So, it's a good thing to show them this is something they can do the rest of their lives. We're all doing the same book. We're all reading together. And so, it just promotes a community of readers."
There are 640 students in Brookland Elementary.
Each went home on Monday with their own copy of The Mouse and the Motorcycle.
For more information about Brookland Elementary, log onto their website.
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