Lexington County, SC (WLTX) – A Lexington County Sheriff’s Deputy is giving children in the Irmo area a chance to get educated over the summer.
"Today they're learning about wildlife,” says Deputy David Burns is a former School Resource Officer. “I started going out to the bus stops in the morning, playing football, basketball, throwing the football around with each other. I started to get to know them better and then I talked to some of the mothers to see what I could do for them."
The parents answered, asking for help with their children over the summer. So last year, Deputy Burns partnered with the Riverland Hills Baptist Church and Saluda Shoals.
"These kids live a stone’s throw away from this park and they're world is much different than ours,” says Dolly Patton, director of the Saluda Shoals Foundation. “They don't know much about nature and how important it is in our lives and how it can change your life.”
Patton says a grant from the North Face Foundation and donation from the community helped make the camp a reality.
On Wednesday, the Midlands Chef Association and the Carolina Wildlife Center helped the children learn a little about animals they may see around their homes.
"Most of the animals I've never seen before,” says Rikki Thomas, rising sixth grader. She enjoyed learning about the animals and getting a chance to hang out with her friends.
“I enjoy that most kids in our neighborhood, we get to spend time together,” says Thomas. “A lot of times we don't get to go to the same thing.”
Deputy Burns hopes this program can help give his former students something to look forward to over the summer.
"It's fun building those bonds and when they come when they need something. It's an important thing to do."