Friday was a day filled with Halloween parties and parades in Newton Schools — the big day for trick-or-treaters will come Monday. However, more than 2,000 trick-or-treaters have already received a bit of a treat, one from Jon Adkins, school resource officer.
For the past three years, Adkins has coordinated “Be seen, be safe.” The program provides a four inch glow stick to students in the Newton school system.
“I started because when I was a street guy, on patrol, we would have issues with kids that I could not see in my patrol car,” Adkins said. “When they would cut in front of you in neighborhoods, I was was afraid I was going to hit them. We became ultra-aware.”
When he moved into the role of School Resource Officer, it was a natural thing to find a way to change that.
Now, with the sponsorship of the department and local insurance agent Todd Barnes, Adkins purchases about 2,000 glow sticks each year. He gets a mix of green, yellow, pink and orange.
School secretaries help tie ribbons and a note to students on each stick. They are then given to students in every school building, pre-kindergarten through sixth grade, in the district.
“I have seen them (on Halloween night),” Adkins said. “I have seen some around with trick or treating. I believe they are being used. People tell me they see them when kids knock on their door.”
The cost of the project runs around $500 each year.