COLUMBUS, Ga. - Soldiers assigned to Headquarters and
Headquarters Troop, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry
Division, spent their Marne Time interacting with youths within the
Columbus, Ga., community.
Nearly 25 "Hell Raiser" Soldiers
returned and spent their Friday afternoon at the Boys and Girls Club
of Chattahoochee Valley, Columbus, Ga., Sept. 19, 2014, in effort to
bridge the gap between Soldiers and youth within the community.
Sledgehammer Soldiers jump rope with the youth attending the
after school program at the Boys and Girls Club of Chattahoochee
Valley, Columbus, Ga., Sept. 19, 2014. Nearly 25 "Hell Raiser"
Soldiers returned and spent their Friday afternoon interacting with
youths, in effort to bridge the gap between Soldiers and youths
within the community. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Stephanie Woodson)
"It's exciting to see the children get off the bus and
run in to see their favorite staff member," said Tavari
Turner, the Boys and Girls Club education specialist.
"Majority of the kids that come during the summer do not
attend during the school year."
Summer camp the
activities are different. The children play outside more, go
swimming and take trips to different places in Columbus. The
after-school program is more focused on academics.
"Our goal is to ensure all students are on track to advance
to the next grade, make sure they graduate on time and
understand what they are learning," said Turner.
Turner recalls the first day the children got off the bus.
He gave them his speech about making sure they study,
complete their homework, ask question when they don't
understand and most of all do the best they can.
"That's how it was for me when I was coming up in the Boys
and Girls Club," he added.
Turner says it has been
times where staff had to go to students school and talk with
their principal and assistant principal to ensure the
student doesn't fail or get left behind.
"We want to
make sure we identify the problems before they become and
issue," said Turner. "We are constantly thinking of ways to
keep children excited about learning."
This year the
Boys and Girls Club are exploring some new programs.
"The Chattahoochee Library system every Wednesday sends out,
what they call 'the book mobile'. It's like having a library
on wheels. The children have the opportunity to check out
book. It's exciting to the kids and so far it get's them
energized about reading and learning, as well as, give staff
the opportunity to help other children with their homework,"
"I enjoy when Soldiers come out and
volunteer," he said. "We have high school students who don't
know what they want to do or just unsure."
Soldiers taking the time out to volunteer and interact with
the children and teenagers says and means a lot. People
never really know the effect you have on a person just by
sharing your experience, added Turner.
knowing he could possibly help a student graduate on time or
help correct and issue will keep him coming everyday.
"One of the reason why I volunteered and came back for a
second time, was because hanging with the kids was a lot of
fun and some of them reminded me of myself when I was
grow-up," said Staff Sgt. Fay Ferris, mail room clerk
assigned to 3rd ABCT, 3rd ID.
Ferris said, "I want to
be an inspiration to the youth, hopefully motivate their
life choices and inspire them career wise."
time she volunteered was during the club summer camp and it
was more physical. This time is she was in the art room and
had the opportunity to talk with the youths.
art room, the youths learned about color and asked me
question about the Army," said Ferris.
"It was very
good to be here and I brought my son, Jayden, with me. It
was good to see him interact with other children," she
added. "I'm gonna try to bring my daughter, who just entered
high school, next time."
Ferris said seeing the
children jump rope brought memories of her childhood when
she would single jump rope and play double dutch with her
"I think this should be done in all units,"
She said, "It doesn't necessarily have
to be the Boys and Girls Club, it could be visiting Senior
By U.S. Army Sgt. Stephanie Woodson
American Forces Press Service
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