With Dr. Seuss books tucked firmly in hand, Soldiers from the 88th Regional Support Command joined students from the Lawrence-Lawson Elementary School in commemorating Seuss’ birthday and Read Across America Day, March 2.
Three Soldiers, Sgt. 1st Class Arianna Joe, Staff Sgt. Nicholas Gimson and Sgt. Robert Clark along with Hayley Strand, a command specialist with the 88th RSC, visited four classrooms at the Sparta, Wisconsin, elementary school to share their love of reading and to challenge the students in a bit of Army physical training. Specifically, a push up contest.
March 2, 2017 - Sergeant 1st Class Arianna Joe, center, a chaplain's assistant with the 88th Regional Support Command, introduces Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham before reading it to a group of Kindergarten students at Lawrence-Lawson Elementary School in Sparta, Wisconsin, as part of Read Across America. Staff Sgt. Nicholas Gimson, left, and Sgt. Robert Clark, both with the 88th Regional Support Command, also read to other students at the elementary school. (U.S. Army photo by Zachary Mott)
For Clark, who is a chaplain’s assistant with the 88th RSC and a father of four children, reading with the elementary school students was a chance for him to flex his pirate reading voice.
“Having four children of my own, I see the joy that washes over their faces when stories are read to them especially when you're able to throw a bit of silliness into the mix,” he said. Clark read Seuss’ One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish to a group of first graders using his best pirate voice.
“Read Across America Day is a national initiative,” Strand said, “that Army Reserve Child and Youth Services takes part in to encourage literacy in youth throughout the United States.”
This event allows the Soldiers a chance to interact with children in the local schools and share some of their experiences with them as well.
“This is a great way to increase visibility of the military in this area and create bonds between the post and the local community,” Strand said.
After each reading session, the Soldiers answered a variety of questions from the Kindergarten through third graders. Once the Soldiers exhausted the children’s curiosity it was time to exhaust them physically with a push up contest.
“Those kids were amazing to be around. The amount of excitement and energy they demonstrated throughout the entire process was truly motivating,” Clark said.
This is at least the third year that Soldiers from the 88th RSC participated in reading to students at Lawrence-Lawson Elementary. It’s something Strand and the Soldiers hope continues as well.
“This was my first experience with this event, but I had an absolute blast and look forward to helping next year,” Clark said.
By U.S. Army Zachary Mott
Provided through DVIDS
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