Cops 'n' Kids Literacy Program celebrates 10 years in Waterloo - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cops 'n' Kids Literacy Program celebrates 10 years of giving away books

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Students at Lincoln Elementary School in Waterloo got a new book of their very own. It's all part of the Cops 'n' Kids Literacy Program through Quota International of Waterloo.

"We order books through Scholastic Books. We are funded primarily through grants. This year we got grants from the Northeast Iowa Community Foundation, Guernsey Foundation, and the Black Hawk county Gaming Association," said Cops 'n' Kids Literacy Committee Co-Chair Eileen Gunderson.

Here's how it works, Quota provides books to the police department and officers pass the books out from their cruisers and at the front desk of the police station. A few times a year, the police department and Quota visit schools to hand out books. The also students get to ask the police officers questions, which helps them build a positive relationship with police.

"It's a good opportunity for us. It's a great partnership we have. There's no additional cost to anyone. It's all funded by Quota," said Captain of Police Services Joe Leibold.

The original idea for the program started in Racine, Wisconsin when a police officer found books in a building during a call. She carried the books in her squad car and passed them out to kids. A Waterloo Quota member heard her story and implemented the program here.

The local Cops 'n' Kids Literacy Program is celebrating 10 years of service. Since 2004, Quota International of Waterloo has handed out more than 29,500 books. That's an average of about 3,000 books a year.

"The fact they can have one of their own, that's what we feel is very important because it's the cornerstone of their whole life," said Eileen Gunderson.

As part of the 10th anniversary of the Cops 'n' Kids Literacy Program, Waterloo Mayor Buck Clark declared March 'Quota Cares Month'.

Quota International of Waterloo is a service organization focusing its attention on the needs of women and children. The Waterloo chapter is nearly 90 years old, starting in 1926.

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