84th Engineers, Mililani Uka students spring into reading

| April 30, 2010 | 0 Comments

Story and Photo by
Capt. Susan Knapik
84th Engineer Battalion Public Affairs 

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Some people say a child’s brain is like a sponge: absorbing what they see in the environment surrounding them, emulating the adults they literally look up to, and producing similar responses. 

Sgt. Michael Carbajal, 643rd Engineer Company, 84th Engineer Battalion, reads to a group of Mililani Uka School students during “Spring into Reading” night as part of the nationwide program “Raise a Reader.” This saying is part of the idea behind the “Raise A Reader” program that began at Mililani Uka Elementary, March 8, and concludes, May 31.  

As military partners to Mililani Uka, the 84th Engineer Battalion wanted to not only be a part of the encouragement, but also a part of the process.  

The school hosted a “Spring Into Reading” night, April 22, and invited the group of engineers to read to each grade level.   

The event began with a crowd of several hundred parents and students gathered in the school cafeteria. 

There, they were challenged by Miss Hawaii Raeceen Woolford to answer trivia questions relating to the books suggested for students.  

The Soldiers were then assigned a grade level, given a library bag full of age-appropriate books and sent off to classrooms where they read some of their own favorite books from childhood and engaged students in discussions about the stories and characters.  

For most of the children, the connection to the story was immediate. Keiki were mesmerized by “the Army,” as they called the engineers, who told them whimsical tales of Amelia Bedelia, “the literal-minded housekeeper.”  

Many students could recite pages of the Dr. Seuss books that were read to them, but they were still fascinated by the Soldiers’ abilities to “become” the main characters.  

The occasion was the third Raise a Reader event the 84th Eng. Bn. has participated in at Mililani Uka. 

Virtually every Soldier requested a chance to participate for a second and third time. 

The national program, which offers a $5,000 grant to the school that logs the most minutes of reading, encourages parents to read with their students outside of the school environment, so children will become hooked on education and apply solid reading and learning habits throughout their school years. 

Category: Community

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *