Rilynn Mahoney, a fourth grader at Scotland Elementary School in Mrs. Pambianchi’s class, had an up-close and personal meeting with Officer Shawn Murray and Loki of the Ridgefield Police Department.

Think Tank Time (TTT) is the latest curriculum initiative at Scotland, where students have the opportunity to research topics of high interest. TTT is a result of the six-day rotating schedule being piloted at SES this year.

Rilynn just got her first pet puppy, and was fascinated with everything German shepherd. She devoured books from the library and learned as much as she could.

The next logical step was to contact the Ridgefield Police Department and Officer Murray, the K-9 officer.

Officer Murray was happy to give an interview and answer all of the questions Rilynn had generated.

As Rilynn’s TTT project grew, so did the interest and excitement of her classmates.

Mrs. Pambianchi said, “There is nothing better than watching learning take place as kids are engaged in research topics they are interested in and passionate about.”

The students all wanted to meet Officer Murray and K-9 Loki. Rilynn reached out to the police department and Principal Mrs. Genovese to see if a visit was possible.

Officer Murray gladly accepted the request and with Rilynn and Loki at his side spoke to more than 40 students and teachers.

The students of Scotland were wide-eyed and full of questions. Officer Murray expertly handled all the questions fired at him. Loki was content chewing on his Kong toy as the students marveled at his abilities.

The presentation ended with each student getting to pet K-9 Loki. Rilynn’s TTT project not only helped her writing, interviewing, presenting, and research skills but also helped foster police and school community relations.