WWMT - wwmt.com - Search Results

The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Drug money to provide books for kids

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The Calhoun County Sheriff's Department is using forfeited drug money to help local children make good choices.
The department designed and printed childrens books titled "Be the Best You Can Be" using 20,000 dollars in confiscated cash. 
They plan to give one book to every fourth grade student in the county.
It has four short stories about gangs and stealing and drugs and making smart decisions, Sheriff Matt Saxton says.
Saxton says when he took office a little more than a year ago, one of his main goals was to reach as many kids in Calhoun County as possible.
This new "6S for Students campaign is the first and only of its kind here in Michigan.
The six Ss are safe, secure, strong, smart, study and strive, Saxton explains. We wanted to get the books in kids hands so maybe a parent or guardian will sit down and go over the messages in the short stories.
The hardcover book is customized to Calhoun County both inside and out, with a Sheriffs star on the front cover and letters from both the Sheriff and Undersheriff inside.
The students will read about kids just like them as they page through the book, including a boy named Tommy who decided not to join a gang and a girl named Elisha who helped out a friend in trouble. 
The sheriff hopes the book will inspire kids to make wise decisions early on to keep them out of his jail later in life.
It costs about 26,000 dollars to house an inmate for a year down at our jail, Saxton notes. Cost of this book was 20,000 dollars for two years. So if it just reaches one kid, the program is a success.
After reading the book, students can take a Junior Deputy Oath, pledging to make smart choices.
Sheriff Matt Saxton and Undersheriff Tim Hurtt will launch the initiative Thursday afternoon in the Sheriffs hometown of Homer, at an elementary school assembly.
From there, the sheriff and undersheriff will work with each elementary school in the county to implement the program and distribute 2,000 books.