SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A shopping spree was held Wednesday for 30 Hancock Elementary School students ahead of San Diego Unified School District’s 2019-20 school year.
Each student paired with an SD Unified police officer for the fourth annual "True Blue" buddies event. Each pairing received a $150 gift card to the Mission Valley Target store, allowing the third, fourth and fifth grade students to buy school supplies, new clothes and shoes and a backpack for the school year, which begins Aug. 26.
Soon-to-be second grader Colin Wolff said, "I want to get size two shoes, that's what I really want. I want to get, like, glow-in-the-dark shoes or light-up shoes when I stomp!"
Colin was clearly excited after meeting his new True Blue buddy, SDUSD Officer Jeff Carter.
Participating students were chosen based on need, according to the district. The group includes students from low-income families, military families and homeless families. The students will continue their partnership with SDUSD police through a mentorship program that lasts through the school year.
About 90 percent of the 30 chosen students, like Colin, come from military families.
"I'm glad my dad is going to come back soon, we're passed halfway," Colin said, speaking of his father's military deployment.
"While mom and dad are out there serving our country, we can be out here serving their children," said SDUSD Officer William Corado. "I know it's something they're going to remember for the rest of their life.”
"San Diego Unified is committed to giving students the tools they need to get involved and make a positive change in the world -- in their classroom, on the playground, in the cafeteria, school-wide, in the community and beyond," the district said in a statement. "Programs like this encourage students to make good choices every day and have positive relationships with their teachers, parents, school police and the community as a whole."
After the shopping spree, the students and their families were invited to attend a barbecue with the police officers back at Hancock Elementary.