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Cops ‘n’ Kids— Making a difference one child at a time

Sometimes, what really matters is what we give, not what we receive.

The spirit of this can be felt in the NCC Main campus kitchen. General Manager of Sodexo Food Services Robert Meyer makes it a point to interact with and give back to the local community.

He and other members of the kitchen staff, as well as NCC’s Food Services Committee plan various events throughout the year that involve giving back. This is what The Cops ‘n’ Kids organization, led by President Beverly Bradley, is all about. The organization takes on a literary initiative, emphasizing the importance of reading and writing and having a good time doing so.

One important event for the organization is its Shakin’ & Bakin’ event, held Jan. 17 at the Fowler Southside Family Center in Bethlehem. Students from NCC’s Hospitality Club, DeSales University, Liberty High School, and Sodexo chef Char Hartley combined their efforts to provide a hula class and a cooking demo. Shakin’ & Bakin’ is an opportunity to help children get up and moving and encourages and teaches healthful eating and exercise habits.

For the cooking demonstration, Hartley prepared and sautéed vegetables and student volunteers grated and pureed them in a blender. Members of NCC’s Hospitality Club warmed bread and prepared and distributed samples to all the attendees. Sixty-three children registered for the Shakin’ & Bakin’ program.

The Cops ‘n’ Kids Reading Room, also at Fowler Campus, opens to the public every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and for special Saturday programs, such as Shakin’ & Bakin’. The Reading Room provides a place for children and families to read and share stories. Children leave with a free book of their choosing.

Cops ‘n’ Kids Children’s Literacy Program’s mission is to “to connect kids and community through literacy,” said Bradley, who particularly loves connecting the children to NCC.

“As an educator, I particularly love thinking that the 640,000 free books we have provided through the Reading Room to our community result in 640,000 connections to the community – and one of the most important is the connection to NCC.”

If you would like to work alongside NCC students and staff and make a difference in someone else’s life, you can join other volunteers at the ninth annual community-wide  Celebration of Reading  and the Arts and Sciences, scheduled for April 18.  NCC Food Services prepares the food for the event, which attracts thousands from the community.

“For many children, the idea of college is something beyond their reach,” Bradley said. “The more we have them interact with individuals from the community college, the more comfortable they will become with the idea of college in their lives.”