8th TSC CSM reads to students at Fort Shafter School

| October 7, 2010 | 0 Comments

Story and Photo by
Maj. Jeff Parker
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs

­Ana Rojas sits with her dad, Capt. Geo Rojas, 8th TSC, during craft time, after hearing 8th TSC Command Sgt. Maj. George Duncan read “Verdi” at Fort Shafter Elementary School, Sept. 29. FORT SHAFTER — More than 50 children huddled on a single rug, captivated as Command Sgt. Maj. George Duncan, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, read “Verdi” in the Fort Shafter Elementary School cafeteria/auditorium, Sept. 29, as part of the Military Children Education Coalition’s “Tell Me A Story” program.

“‘Verdi’ is such an appropriate book for the kids here today,” Duncan said. 

The story is about a young python who is growing into adulthood, experiencing similar struggles of children everywhere and confidently embracing the change of going into adulthood.

The MCEC, now endorsed by the Department of Defense, was developed in the late 1990s by parents who were concerned with the possible long-term affects that military lifestyles, including multiple moves, might have on their children. Military children often move from six to nine times, from their first day of kindergarten until high school graduation.

From its humble grassroots beginning, the worldwide organization still resonates its original commitment in its mission statement: “To ensure inclusive, quality educational experiences for all military children affected by mobility, family separation and transition.”

The Tell Me A Story program is only one branch of the MCEC, and it’s designed to “… empower our military children by using literature and their own stories in a way that fosters skills for resilience, strong peer and parent connections, a sense of pride and accomplishment, and a caring community,” according to www.militarychild.org.

The Army sponsors local Tell Me A Story events through its own Parent-to-Parent program, which provides snacks and crafts for children, relative to the book’s theme. Locally, each child is provided with a free copy of the featured book.

Relying on donations and fundraisers, the nonprofit MCEC spends about $15 on each child who attends.

The MCEC approved booklist includes books that illustrate at least one of 23 traits found in positive and optimistic people.  

“This year’s (trait) is personal growth,” said Sabina Dooley, program facilitator for the Fort Shafter event. “The three books we’re reading this year are ‘Verdi’ by Janell Cannon, ‘The Three Questions’ by Jon J. Muth and ‘The Remarkable Farkle McBride’ by John Lithgow.” 

Dooley looks forward to hosting similar events at Webling and Wheeler elementary schools during this school year. 

“It’s a very beneficial program for students of all ages and parents,” Dooley said, an active duty family member who has been working with the program in Hawaii since her arrival in 2008. “As long as there is a need, I plan on providing.”


To learn more about the Tell Me A Story program, contact tmas@militarychild.org or call (254) 953-1923. 

Also, visit www.militarychild.org for more about the military-wide Military Children 

Education Coalition.


Category: Community, Leadership

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