Signal Soldiers ‘Read Out Loud!’ elementary students

| November 9, 2013 | 0 Comments

 

Maj. Gen James Walton, commander, 311th SC(T), reads a book to a group of Fern Elementary School students during a Read Out Loud! initiative at the school, Friday. (Photo by Liana Kim, 311th Signal Command (Theater) Public Affairs)

Maj. Gen James Walton, commander, 311th SC(T), reads a book to a group of Fern Elementary School students during a Read Out Loud!
initiative at the school, Friday. (Photo by Liana Kim, 311th Signal Command (Theater) Public Affairs)

Maj. Avon Cornelius,
311th Signal Command (Theater)
Public Affairs

HONOLULU — About a dozen Soldiers assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 311th Signal Command (Theater), paid their monthly visit to Fern Elementary School, here, Friday, to read books out loud to students.

“It’s a great partnership we have with the school,” said Maj. Gen. James Walton, commander, 311th SC(T), who enjoyed his first experience reading to the students.

“It gives our Soldiers and families an appreciation of the community we are a part of and allows us to be an active, contributing part,” Walton added.

Read Out Loud!, the cooperative program between the unit and school, allows Soldiers to read to and interact with groups of students on the first Friday of each month throughout the school year.

The initiative has received accolades from teachers, as the interaction with Soldiers has reportedly inspired improved behavior among the students.

“The joy and excitement on (the students’) faces when the Soldiers are engaged with them shows us that it means a lot that someone else cares about them,” said fourth-grade teacher Mark Atta of the program.

“It’s great to have the Soldiers come here and give them that extra support,” Atta noted.

The Soldiers of HHC have been partnering with Fern Elementary since 2011 for various events throughout the school year, such as the school’s annual Drug Free Jump Rope for the Heart field day to promote active, healthy lifestyles and introduce students to positive role models and professional opportunities.

“Your efforts help us reinforce a culture of reading, where every child knows how to and wants to read,” said school counselor Cedric Chu.

“This is a very different world form the one I grew up in,” Chu continued. “I actually see students bringing books to school to read for leisure, thanks to an emphasis on reading in our schools, the media, community agencies like Read Aloud Program, and support from our community members, such as the military.”

The unit’s Family Readiness Group has organized a Back to School donation drive for school supplies over the past two years, with the 2013 drive resulting in a truckload of donations that tripled the size of the 2012 drive.

“Your coming in to bring the donations really helps open up my students’ perspective of other people trying to help them succeed in their learning,” said Leanna Agcaoili, a fourth-grade teacher at Fern.

“It lets them know there are military families who care about a better future for our students,” Agcaoili added. “It really helps me, as a teacher, to help them succeed.”

 

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Community, Community Relations

Leave a Reply

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