On Aug. 27, the Oro Valley Police Department and the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 53 held their annual Shop with a Teacher event at the Oro Valley Target.
For the past nine years, the department has partnered with Target and the now-nine private and public schools in Oro Valley to help supplement classroom supplies so teachers do not have to pay for them out of pocket.
The FOP, which gathers its monies through mail-in donations throughout the year, uses events like this to put the dollars back into the community. In the case of the Shop with a Teacher event, and with the help of a contribution from Target, each school received $200 to spend as it wished.
A police officer and a faculty member from each school browsed the aisles of Target, looking for specific items they felt their school needed, whether it was playground equipment, art supplies or cooking utensils.
Danny Sharp, the department’s police chief, feels an event like this is important for the town.
“It demonstrated our support for the school, the kids in the schools and the teachers,” Sharp said. “We are all public servants. We are all trying to do the right thing to make our schools the best they can be, to make our community the best we can make it. This was just another opportunity to make this a great place to live, raise your kids and maintain our community of excellence. “
Penny O’Neil, who is an educational assistant at Wilson K-8 School, loaded up her Target shopping cart with numerous types of balls and a pump with the help from Oro Valley Police Lt. Curtis Hicks.
“I think this is wonderful because schools get stuff that they usually wouldn’t get, because everything is geared towards the curriculum,” O’Neil said. “But the recreational part of the school – the kids need that during lunch and at recess.”