Flashing lights and loud sirens announced the arrival of the Reading Prize Patrol as the caravan of community police, educators and volunteers weaved its way through the housing area, March 8.

The annual Reading Prize Patrol for C.C. Pinckney and Pierce Terrace Elementary schools took place March 8, on Fort Jackson. Each year the school hold a reading prize patrol in the spring and a math prize patrol in the fall to recognize the hard work students are putting in each year.

Kerrie Ammons, the Speech and Language Pathologist for C.C. Pinckney saw high numbers of people turn out of the event due to the patrol being the first joint Prize Patrol for the elementary schools.

"Nineteen children were awarded reading baskets that contained books, book lights, bookmarks, literacy games and much more," Ammons said, "Families were surprised and grateful for a visit from the Reading Prize Patrol."

Jenna Vaughn first grade teacher at Pierce Terrace Elementary was also pleased with the success of Thursday night's prize patrol.

"It was great to have both schools celebrate reading by holding a unified Reading Prize Patrol event," she said. "We truly see prize patrol events as a Fort Jackson school specialty and we look forward to next year."

Funding for the educational materials and goodies placed in the reading prize patrol baskets was provided via a grant awarded to C.C. Pinckney PTO President Maureen Voorhees, from the Fort Jackson Thrift Store.

The prize patrols were developed and implemented by Ammons, a member of the Continuous School Improvement Team and the Pickney Stakeholder Team, said she was looking for ways to engage and interact with Fort Jackson Families in a way that focused on the importance of education when the idea of the Math and Reading Prize Patrol came about.

"I guess you could say I was in the right place at the right time and was able to develop the concept of 'prize patrols' as a way to marry school, home and education," she said.

The prize patrol would not be possible without willing families who send back forms and teachers who make visits after school hours, she added.