Press Release (pdf)
Minister’s Award for Leadership in Crime Prevention goes to local police officer
Cst. John Kennedy, of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, has received the Minister’s Award for Leadership in Crime Prevention for his work with the Adopt-a-Library Literacy Program.
He was one of 20 persons from across Nova Scotia to be nominated by their communities and recognized with the award. The award was presented by Justice Minister Ross Landry as part of a provincial crime prevention symposium held in Halifax March 28th.
In 2000 Cst. Kennedy joined forces with Nova Scotia public libraries to create the Adopt-a-Library Literacy Program. In his work as a police officer he observed that those who came into contact with the criminal justice system had poor literacy skills. It was his belief, also borne out by statistical evidence, these low literacy levels created a lack of self-esteem and presented few choices in life, which could lead to involvement in crime. Cst. Kennedy created the AAL as a way for police, libraries, and the community to encourage and mentor children and youth to read often and read well.
Since 2000 Cst. Kennedy has organized the Adopt-a-Library into a province-wide crime prevention program involving first responders, libraries, schools, community agencies and businesses. Over 500,000 books have been put into the hands and homes of Nova Scotia children. Through other activities as the WOW! Reading challenge, where schools make a friendly competition of reading, over 5 million books have been read over 5 years. The result has been higher literacy scores and a new relationship between police, children, and youth.
Cst. John Kennedy, RCMP, and the Hon. Ross Landry, Minister of Justice
For further information contact:
Trecia Schell, Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library