Catasauqua Press

Sunday, July 12, 2020
Contributed photosCatasauqua Police Officers Jenna Potak and Pat Best read books over Facebook to children in the Catasauqua Area School District. Potak and Best are the CASD school resource officers. Contributed photosCatasauqua Police Officers Jenna Potak and Pat Best read books over Facebook to children in the Catasauqua Area School District. Potak and Best are the CASD school resource officers.
Keep an eye out for Flat Pat around the borough and send a photo to the Catasauqua Police Department Facebook page. Keep an eye out for Flat Pat around the borough and send a photo to the Catasauqua Police Department Facebook page.

SROs hold virtual storytime

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 by Samantha Anderson sanderson@tnonline.com in School

Being out of school and learning new routines can be difficult for some children. To help offer familiar and friendly faces, Officers Jenna Potak and Pat Best, Catasauqua Area School District school resource officers, have been taking turns reading books to children over the Catasauqua Police Department Facebook page.

The first reading took place March 30, and Best read “Two Crazy Pigs” by Karen Berman Nagel. This book was picked by the SROs themselves.

Some of the books were brought in by the officers, but the others were supplied by the librarian at Sheckler Elementary School. There was even a request to read a book on autism to highlight Autism Awareness Month.

Others books read include “I Need a Hug,” “A Big Guy Took My Ball,” “Thump, Quack, Moo,” “Mr. Putter and Tabby Bake the Cake,” “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly,” “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat,” “Swimmy” and “Green Wilma.”

The videos are posted 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. According to Potak, they try to prerecord the readings so they know they have enough videos.

Potak is also thrilled with the response to her Chalk Your Walk campaign. Residents are encouraged to write messages and words of encouragement to first responders on their sidewalks, driveways or even streets.

“My goal was to bring a smile to someone’s face. And a smile it did bring,” she said. “I hear from residents how much they love all the positive words and bright colorful drawings. Our town is decorated with happiness!”

Potak noted she is hoping the Chalk Your Walk initiative travels into North Catasauqua Borough as well to bring cheer to the first responders there.

The police department also created Flat Pat, a character similar to Flat Stanley. As of now, Flat Pat is drawn in several locations around Catasauqua. Children are encouraged to take pictures if they find him and to send the photos to the police department Facebook page.

According to Potak, they would like to grow the Flat Pat program and have him go home with students over the weekend and go on adventures. Children will be encouraged to take photos of things they are doing with Flat Pat and to write stories about his adventures.