30 Spring ISD students get $200 shopping spree through ‘Blue Santa’ program

Christmas came early for dozens of spring students who were treated to a $200 shopping spree on Monday, courtesy of local law enforcement and community partners.

The Spring ISD Police Department provided vacation assistance to 30 middle and high school students for the second year in a row as part of its Blue Santa event.

Blue Santa provides underprivileged Spring ISD students and families with assistance during the holiday season. Recipients are selected by district officers and school counselors, Spring ISD Police Chief Ken Culbreath said. The program is funded entirely by donations from Spring ISD officers and community sponsors.

Selected students receive $200 to use for shopping at Academy Sports + Outdoors.

“For myself and for the whole team at the Spring ISD Police Department, this is what this holiday season is all about,” the Spring ISD Police Chief said. , Ken Culbreath. “We began raising funds from individuals and our community partners in mid-August 2021, and I am proud to say that we have raised the bar this year and added even more donors, bringing our total to 7,600. $.”

Culbreath said he decided to help middle and high school students because they are often overlooked because they are older. From there, they worked with their academic support team to identify which students would be selected for a $200 shopping spree at the Academy.

“They can get anything they want, from clothes to candy to any kind of games or sports equipment they have at the Academy,” Culbreath said.

It’s one of many initiatives in the department’s Dream Maker program, Culbreath said, which offers several programs throughout the year, such as a literacy initiative and a leadership academy program. .

“The idea is to make sure that we don’t just watch over our children, but also take responsibility for supporting them and growing them into adults through these programs,” Culbreath said.

Community policing is a term that can often be confused, Culbreath said, for activities such as helping clean up graffiti.

“True community policing is about being in the community and partnering with leaders and citizens to figure out the issues they face and how we can close that gap.”

In this case, bridging that gap means helping children who need help this Christmas season, he said.

“We recognize that our role in supporting learning goes beyond the classroom,” Culbreath said. “Hosting Blue Santa allows us to continue to grow our Dream Makers program, which aims to protect student and teacher well-being, install next-generation policing strategies, improve crisis and emergency management, and improve professional standards and opportunities for officers. »

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