Longfellow Elementary Kindergarten Classroom Superkids Program Brings Character to Life – by Brooke Gilmore

The Longfellow Elementary Kindergarten class has welcomed members of the Salida community over the past week who mirror the characters from the books they have read. The elementary school has a phonics program called Superkids, which uses 13 children and a dog to help students learn their letters and sounds.

Officer Coscarella explaining how Sarge likes to smell, just like their dog Superkids. Image courtesy of Anna Johnson.

To end the year, they asked three members of the community who relate to these characters to come and visit the kindergarten students.

On May 24, Sarah Gartzman of Sweeties and Baker and Biker came to talk to the class about being a real cook.

On May 25, Paralympic swimmer Sophie Herzog came to speak to the class. Herzog talked to the students about what it is like to be an athlete.

The last superhero to visit was Canine Patrol Officer “Sarge” and his handler Salida, Constable Alec Coscarella, who came to visit the classroom on May 26th.

The children who relate to the character of the Superkids Golly, the dog of the Superkids, were captivated by the visit. Golly loves to sniff, as does Sarge. The tour introduced the children to Sarge and helped them understand how Sarge can use his nose to help our community.

Kindergarten teacher Anna Johnson says, “The kids loved Sarge and Alec did a wonderful job explaining what Sarge does. Alec explained that Sarge loved to smell, as did our Superkids dog Golly.

“His example was that we can smell a cake, but Sarge can smell every ingredient in the cake. He explained how dogs’ noses are able to smell so much more than we can, ”Johnson said.

“He talked about how Sarge has to train every day, which is like [the dog’s] school. He works very hard to be able to play with his ball (his favorite toy). We told this to the students who were working very hard so that they could go to recess, ”she added.

“The kids got to pet Sarge if they wanted to, which almost all were, and was a highlight for a lot of the kids. Alec and Sarge did a great job and we look forward to seeing them again, ”added Johnson.

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