WINSLOW, Ariz. - A group of students left the Hopi Reservation on Dec. 21 to Shop with a Cop at the Winslow Walmart. Two students from each of the eight Hopi schools were chosen to Shop with a Cop. The students took a shuttle bus and a van to Winslow. There were also four cops and ten chaperones.
The students that went included Povee Dahe and Tyrin Talas from Keams Canyon Elementary; Clinessia Lucas and Morton Koinva from the Hopi Junior/Senior High School; Myra Mahle and Peeshatsmo LaCapa From First Mesa Elementary; Ronney Silas and Ronald Lomayaktewa from Second Mesa Elementary; Christopher Beesto Jr. and Mary Puhuyaoma from Hopi Day School; Lance Koinva and Anayla Vavages from Hopi Mission; LaKarrie Kinale and Sammel James from Hotevilla/Bacavi Community School and Terrance Phillips and Ruthie Mairanda From Moencopi Day School.
The Shop with a Cop program started two years ago through Ivan Sidney Jr., a special agent for child abuse on the reservation. Sidney suggested that it would be good for the police to be involved during the holiday season. He also wanted to award the students for their grades, attendance and leadership at school.
"I chose to lead this year's Shop with a Cop because Sidney was busy and I felt that it was important to reward the students for their excellent efforts in school," said Paul Sidney, who is Ivan's brother.
The program that they have created is different from Toys for Tots, which gives out one toy per child. The Shop with a Cop program allows kids to purchase a gift for themselves or their family members.
"The best thing I liked about the program is to see all the kids smile and appreciate the toys they got with their $100. The kids got their toys by their good deeds, leadership and efforts in school. Also, at this time of year some families are in need financially and this is a good way to help the children get what they wanted," Sgt. Sidney said.
Hopi Telecommunications, Hopi Cellular One, Hopi Credit Association, Niles Radio, Hopi Tewa Women's Coalition to End Abuse and others funded the program. Paul Sacedo and Barbra Dobbs also donated $2,600 to the program.
"I would recommend Shop with a Cop for other students because [it] is a program that rewards the kids for this year's hard work. Also this doesn't replace Toys for Tots, but I think this is a good way for law enforcement to be creative with the children," Sgt. Sidney concluded.
After the students enjoyed their shopping for toys, they ate a wonderful lunch and then all gathered up to go home.
Hallie Lomayaktewa writes for the Hopi High Bruin Times.