Ellis County Sheriff Johnny Brown dropped everything he was doing Friday and read to Chandria Lacey’s language arts class at Clift Intermediate School.

Brown selected a book entitled, “A Parent Talks to Their Child Before the First Game,” a story that encouraged children to refuse to bow to peer pressure. He also took about 10 minutes prior to reading and gave the class an opportunity to ask questions, with students asking him such questions as, “Do you write tickets?”  “Have you ever been shot?”  “How many people have you arrested?” “Have you ever been scared when you were arresting someone?”

Lacey said she was gratified by the results of the Drop Everything and Read program in her class.

“These students enjoy reading and they also enjoy having people from the community to take their time to come read to them,” she said of the district’s annual celebration of DEAR Day.

“It’s wonderful to know the community cares about helping to build a community of learning,” she said. “Programs like this show our kids that they are appreciated and that people want to encourage them to grow up to become great adults.”

Clift principal Melissa Mayner said the program serves another benefit to students.

“We are very proud of our new facility here at Clift and we are grateful for the opportunity to have people in the community to come and see it,” she said. “It’s also great to have people to stop by and spend time with the students, like they did today.

“One of the greatest benefits of DEAR Day is that it affords an opportunity to connect people of Waxahachie with our school,” she said. “We want to let everyone know that they are invited to come by and visit us anytime.”

E-mail Paul at paul.gauntt@wninews.com