Sioux County Sheriff

School Resource Officer building relationships with students while helping them learn to read

During the 2019/2020 school year, Kindergarten classes at Hospers Elementary have been spending some extra time with their School Resource Officer, Deputy Waylon Pollema. When Pollema has free time during his scheduled days at Hospers Elementary, he reads books, plays educational games and interacts positively with the students.

Pollema said, “This has been a very positive activity; the kids have been great and it is fun getting to know each of them. Anytime I can build rapport and establish positive relationships with students, I want to take advantage of the opportunity.”

The Kindergarten teachers, Mrs. Steph Schwebach and Mrs. Wendy Van Roekel approached Deputy Pollema with the idea in an effort to gain more reading time for the students as well as spending time with a law enforcement officer in positive atmosphere at a young age. One of the goals is to have the students reading to Pollema as well as to their parents by the end of the school year.

Schwebach and Van Roekel said, “The students look forward to spending time with Deputy Pollema and love to tell him about what is going on in their life; he takes the time to listen to them and builds relationships that will only get stronger as they grow older. Having Deputy Pollema here to read with students is a great addition to our classrooms; it has been fun for all of us to watch the students grow in their reading abilities through the year. We appreciate what Pollema has done and his willingness to spend some extra time with our students.”