Reading improvement is elementary for 3-4th Cav.

| February 1, 2013 | 0 Comments
1st Sgt. James Hill, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, "Raiders," 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, reads aloud to children from Ka'ala Elementary School during a read-aloud day at the school, Jan. 23.

1st Sgt. James Hill, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, “Raiders,” 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, reads aloud to children from Ka’ala Elementary School during a read-aloud day at the school, Jan. 23.

Story and photo by
1st Lt. Zach Kohl
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

WAHIAWA — Soldiers from the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, “Raiders,” 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, volunteered to help a unique reading program at Ka’ala Elementary School, here, Jan. 23.

The Read Aloud Program, or RAP, focused on improving reading simply by teaching parents how to read aloud.

During the event, Soldiers and other volunteers helped shuttle children to classrooms where volunteer readers entertained them with colorful stories.

“Our program started in 1999, and we are the largest reading program in the state, of any kind,” said Jed Gaines, founder and president of Read Aloud America. “We are the largest family literacy program in the United States, and we are only in the state of Hawaii.”

Gaines emphasized that the secret to success of his program is not the children, but rather parents who get involved to help improve literacy rates.

“I think that it is the importance of the love of reading. If we can hook the kids and hook the parents, it opens up whole worlds for them,” said Teri Thorstad, school vice principal.

Thorstad added that the program is not solely about learning how to read.
“It’s about enjoying every written word,” Thorstad said.

However, putting a program like this one together is not easy for a school to do alone. It involves upwards of six different sessions spread out over four months, and all of them are after business hours.

Answering that call for volunteerism were several community organizations, including Soldiers from the Raiders.

“They asked if anybody wanted to go read for children, so a bunch of us volunteered,” said Pvt. Stephen Hunt, a medic from Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3-4th Cav.

The Raiders’ longstanding relationship with students and staff continues a tradition of fostering goodwill between the community and the military.

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Category: Community, Community Relations, Education

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