SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood will visit White Street School Wednesday morning to read a children’s book she recently authored and meet the second, third and fifth grade students who created the illustrations for the book.
Wednesday, June 16 at 10:15 a.m.
Media are asked to arrive at the school by 10 a.m. to check-in.
White Street School, 300 White St.
- Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood
- Kacey, Springfield Police emotional support dog
- Lynn Vedovelli
- White Street School art teacher Donna Sousa
- White Street student artists: second-grader Kendra Blatch; third-grader Sage Llorens; and fifth-graders Aarron Mathieu, Angela Aguiar, Cindi Mateo, Samantha Guzman, Pearl Ralon, Bakari Brown, Jaiden Green, Anna Pineiro, Ramon Valerio, Edwin Ortiz, Jocenid Choca, Nialese Santiago and Janetzy Garcia.
Commissioner Clapprood recently authored a children’s book titled “Kacey, a Bee and a Tree,” and enlisted the help of student artists in art teacher Donna Sousa’s classes at White Street School to create the illustrations for the book.
Commissioner Clapprood will read the book to a White Street kindergarten class Wednesday morning before participating in a meet-and-greet with the artists.
The story is about the Springfield Police Department’s emotional support dog Kacey and her adventures with the Commissioner’s staff around Halloween last year. While out for a walk, Kacey pulled a police department staff member who was dressed as a bee, Vedovelli, into a tree while chasing after a squirrel. Vedovelli was alright and returned to the station where other staff members watched the incident on the department’s camera system. Many of the staff members laughed at what happened, but then experienced their own laughable moments soon after. Overall, the lesson of the story is to not laugh at or make fun of others.
The book came to be after Commissioner Clapprood began to write down a series of funny moments involving Kacey and SPD staff members. The department then reached out to the White Street School to have students assist in illustrating each page of the book.
“When we all laughed at Lynn and Kacey that day, we didn’t expect to all encounter our own embarrassing moments in the days following, but it turned into a nice story with a good lesson,” Commissioner Clapprood said. “We were so happy to work with the kids at the White Street School to finish out the book. The talent of these young artists is obvious and I was floored when I saw how wonderful their illustrations came out. Their pictures complemented the story perfectly, and I am thankful to the students and Ms. Sousa for their help in bringing this book together. My hope is that these shared experiences help our officers and Springfield’s young people connect.”
Each of the student artists will receive their own copy of the book over the summer and additional copies will be printed for Springfield Police officers to read at schools.
“What a great collaboration between Commissioner Clapprood, our SPD and our student artists at White Street School,” Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated. “Art teacher Donna Sousa and her students did such a wonderful job illustrating the book. This will be a great experience for our brave and dedicated officers to share this book with our children.”
Members of the media are welcome to attend Wednesday’s event. They will be able to observe the book reading and speak with Commissioner Clapprood and the student artists.
Media members are asked to RSVP by contacting SPD PIO Ryan Walsh at [email protected].