Written by Sgt. Neysa Canfield
101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (AA) Public Affairs
Fort Campbell, KY – Soldiers from the 716th Military Police Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Sustainment Brigade, 101st Abn. Div., and their Adopt-A-School partner, Marshall Elementary School, celebrated Read Across America Day March 2nd, here.
Every year, schools, libraries and community centers across America participate in the National Education Association’s Read Across America Day.
The day takes place on March 2nd in recognition of the birth of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, who wrote popular children’s books.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of America’s largest reading celebration, which was created to motivate children to read, according to NEA’s official page.
David Martin, principal for Marshall Elementary School, said it was a great opportunity to bring the staff together and creatively promote and encourage the kids of the school to read.
In early 2015, Lincoln Elementary School, Jackson Elementary School and Marshall Elementary School closed as part of the military construction program to build new 21st century schools. Marshall Elementary School reopened in 2016 and combined the staffs of all three schools.
“Our staff is made up of different staff members from all around post, when Lincoln and Jackson [Elementary] closed they came here,” said Martin. “This was our first time coming together as a staff and bringing ideas from their previous schools here, such as dressing up as characters from the Dr. Seuss books.”
Staff members and children dressed up as their favorite Dr. Seuss characters greeted Soldiers from 716th MP Bn. as they entered the different classrooms to read to the students.
Pfc. Elise M. Fuentes, a military police with 218th MP Company, 716th MP Bn., and a mom to-be, was one of seven Soldiers who participated in Marshall Elementary School’s Read Across America Day.
Martin said the kids enjoy having guest readers, especially Soldiers since the majority of the children at the school have at least one currently serving in the military.
“Having the Soldiers interact with the kids makes the atmosphere enjoyable for the kids and from what I have seen it really helps motivate the students to read more,” said Martin.
Fuentes said she enjoyed seeing how happy all the kids were about reading and said she knows first-hand how important and beneficial it is to start actively reading at a young age.
“My mother and I (both) learned to read at the age of 4-years-old and by the time I was in fourth grade, I was already reading at a ninth-grade level.”
Fuentes added that she plans to continue volunteering in the different events the school puts together.
Martin and his staff members wrapped up Read Across America Day with a production of “The Cat in the Hat” for the students of Marshall Elementary School.
“Everything went fantastic, students had a great time from guest readers, dressing up and the production,” said Martin. “All this success really can’t be made possible without the volunteers like the Soldiers that come out to read to our kids.”