NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — An elementary school classroom in Newport News has gone to the dogs... more specifically, a police K9.
Taz, a K9 with the Newport News Police Department, visits Hidenwood Elementary every few months to help students improve their reading skills.
"He's a patrol-certified K9, meaning he does building searches, apprehensions, tracking of bad guys, those type things and he's currently in the bomb dog school," said Taz's Handler MPO Jeff Wright.
Wright says the 2-year-old K9 spends most days in bomb school. But on one recent morning, the pair went to Hidenwood Elementary to read the children's book "Officer Buckle and Gloria" to several classes of 2nd-grade students.
"This is just one way to build that bridge and create a positive relationship between officers and our kids," said Reading Interventionist Kristina Briggs.
Briggs said it's a great chance to get the 2nd graders excited for reading. And more than that, Wright said Taz helps build trust with the students.
"It helps make them not scared of police. To be honest with you, it's nice to have a connection with students starting off young," Wright said.
It between bomb school and catching bad guys, school leaders plan to keep hosting Taz for these unique lessons.