First Lady Haslam and Knoxville Police Department Partner to Distribute Books to Children

Thursday, June 26, 2014 | 7:27am

A collaborative initiative to promote summer reading

NASHVILLE – First Lady Crissy Haslam today worked with Police Chief David Rausch and the Knoxville Police Department to bring the First Lady’s Read20 Book Patrol to Knoxville. The project, focused on encouraging summer reading and building relationships with children in the community, will have police officers carrying books in their car to give to children who might not have access to books at home.

Children from low‑income families are particularly vulnerable to summer learning loss, because they often have less access to books at home,” Mrs. Haslam said. “Police officers can be a great vehicle to get more books into the hands of children who need them most.”

Penguin Young Readers Group, a division of Penguin Random House, donated more than 5,300 books for this statewide project. Approximately 1,100 of the books were allocated to Knoxville Police Department. During today’s visit, First Lady Haslam, Chief Rausch and KPD officers passed out books to children at the World’s Fair Park fountains, Ed Cothren Pool on Western Avenue and to children participating in summer camp at the Wee Course at Williams Creek Golf Course. The remaining books will be distributed by officers as they go about their daily work.

Our police officers make a profound impact on children,” Mrs. Haslam said.

 “Encouraging children in their reading can be a great way for officers to enhance their impact and ability to achieve law enforcement goals. It has been tremendous to see how excited children are to receive these books from the officers.”

Mrs. Haslam has participated in Read20 Book Patrol events throughout the state this week, including visits to Memphis, Nashville, and Chattanooga.

To learn more about Mrs. Haslam’s literacy initiative, visit

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First Lady Haslam