School Resource Officers do more than protect

School Resource Officers do more than protect


This morning I got this facebook message from Rita Gaither: Can you call me? Important. Great story.

As Rita’s stories are always great and important, I called back to learn this morning Rita, others, and School Resource Officers (SRO’s) were delivering turkey fixings to families in the Edison community.

(see also from Rita and others: A gathering of students, educators, urban farmers and social entrepreneurs at the Bay Street Community Garden )


This Thanksgiving, School Resource Officers from all the high schools in the Rochester City School District joined School Resource Officer Walter Sanders of the Edison Campus to help deliver 51 boxes containing complete turkey fixings to Edison families. Edison staff members began the deliveries last Friday evening, and the police officers finished the job by delivering 30 today.


This initiative was the brainchild of Mr. Walter Larkin Jr., Principal of Edison Career and Technology High School, who has done this in previous years, as well at other RCSD schools he has overseen.staits-people

The need within the city of Rochester speaks loud and clear to him and other staff as families’ basic needs go unmet — although an abundance of resources exist in the community. Our goal as educators to not only meet the academic needs of children, but help families learn how to find the resources that will enable them to not only survive, but thrive.


Michelle Alexander, Medical Assistant with Rochester Regional School-Based Health Center, encounters students on a daily basis who have entered the building, having not eaten breakfast or dinner since the night before. Hunger is a common complaint amongst those in our population. Michelle addresses hunger on a daily basis and knows the need.


Today was the first time police officers (SRO’s are police officers) joined the annual Thanksgiving bag giveaway. 12 officers chose to dedicate their day off for this community labor of love.

For 11 of these 12 SRO’s, Edison was not their assigned or home school. But it hardly mattered whether the officers were meeting old friends or making new ones. They were glad to be out in Rochester showing people that protecting the community also means building the community.

People who donated and assisted to make this a reality:

Los Cabelleros
Officer Sanders and the RPD
Mr. Rankin’s Class of Edison Career and Technology HS
Wegmans Food & Pharmacy


Samaritan Harvest
Dance Emporium – Jennifer M. Robie
Pearl Ministrycard
Edison Class of 2020
Enkyoji Buddhist Temple via Mr. Kroll [Edison Teacher]
Latin Group per Mr. Morales [Edison Teacher]
Dr. Keith Babuszczak
Gemma Humphries


Rita with Officer Walter Sanders III

from Dr. Rita Gaither and Diane M. Beaudoin at Edison Career and Technology HS



Reflecting on the 1960 Woolworth lunch counter sit-ins at Robert Brown High School

Hands on at Edison with Rita Gaither

A gathering of students, educators, urban farmers and social entrepreneurs at the Bay Street Community Garden

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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