Students, first responders forge bonds during school lunch

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A York County Fire & Life Safety member eats lunch with children at Magruder Elementary School. (Courtesy York County School Division)
A York County Fire & Life Safety member eats lunch with children at Magruder Elementary School. (Courtesy York County School Division)

York County elementary students are getting a chance to strengthen their bonds with police, firefighters and paramedics – and luckily, it’s not during an emergency situation.

Members of the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office, York County Fire & Life Safety and the Virginia State Police have been invited to visit Magruder Elementary School every Friday this year, according to a York County School Division news release.

On Fridays, first responders are invited to sit and have lunch with the elementary school students, giving children a chance to get familiar with the responders outside of emergency situations, the release said.

The program also helps students learn about safety, the release said.

“It gives us an opportunity to spend time with the kids and let them know we’re their friend,” said Lt. Dennis Ivey, spokesman for the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office. “We want to help them and build strong relationships with the kids as early as possible, which will hopefully lead to positive experiences when they’re adults.”

Ivey said sheriff’s office deputies go to the school whenever they have spare time on Fridays and plan to continue forging bonds with local students.