Chula Vista, California - After a long summer due to a school renovation, Montgomery Elementary School students in Chula Vista headed back to the grind, and for the second year in a row, they were met by probation officers with some pencils and stickers to help start off their day with a smile.

“We’re working together with Montgomery Elementary School to foster a positive impact for the children coming into school – make them want to come learn, make them want to be in school,” said Probation Officer Brian Nelson. “Because being in school is the first building block for your future.”

Both parents and students alike were happy to see the officers there.

“It’s that personal touch that probation is providing – not only for the students but for the community,” said Monica Ruiz, Montgomery Elementary School’s principal.

Adolfo Gonzales, the chief probation officer, said events like this help build a working relationship with the community and positively influence the kids, encouraging them to stay out of the juvenile justice system.

“If the kids do well in school, they stay off the streets,” Gonzales said. “They go into middle school and high school with a different mind set.”