JCHS and JCMS SRO Mark Gladden reads Marvel stories to children via Facebook videos. Officers have been stepping up to keep children happy and entertained during the COVID-19 pandemic. Submitted photo Submitted photo.
By Meg Dickens
Deputies from the local Sheriff’s Office have been hard at work during the COVID-19 pandemic encouraging children and parents to learn and stay entertained while being stuck at home. What started as reading to children grew bigger until it encompassed parents and other adults. The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office is helping keep spirits high while encouraging activities that do not increase the chances of spreading COVID-19.
Everything started when the Johnson County School System started reading to children over Facebook. Parents reported their children’s excitement to spend virtual time with their teachers. Security Resource Officers (SROs) joined suit quickly and have read stories tailored towards their audience.
Local deputies took it further by showing off their hidden talents. Doe Valley Elementary School SRO Robert Norris took the time to teach a digital art class through the Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page. Picking up a hobby is a good way to keep sane during extended periods at home. Experts suggest that hobbies that show improvement over time can help fight depression. During these classes, Norris encouraged students to keep their minds open and follow their imaginations.
Johnson County High School and Middle School’s SRO Michael Murphy taught viewers practical skills with his cooking demonstration. Officer Murphy used a simple recipe for boneless chicken wings to encourage families to cook together. Cooking together can be a bonding experience, and cooking, in general, is a useful skill.
Starting on May 5, officers started posting digital field trips on the JCSO Johnson County, TN, YouTube account. The first trip was a hike to Gentry Creek Falls in Laurel Bloomery, TN. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are afraid to risk getting out. Others may not have the physical capabilities or a guardian to take them hiking. Now people of all ages can enjoy trips from the safety of their homes.
The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office continues to post videos for the public. Keep an eye out for more lessons, trips, stories, and talent showcases on the Johnson County, TN Sheriff’s Office Facebook page and YouTube.