News: New school promises quality education for Iraqi children
Story by Pfc. Jessica Luhrs-Stabile
KIRKUK, Iraq - Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 37th Armor, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, out of Fort Bliss, Texas, along with their partners in 3rd Battalion, 47th Iraqi Army Brigade, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Kuna Riwi primary school, which will give quality education to more than 100 children around Kuna Riwi, near Kirkuk, Iraq, May 17.
The project, near Kirkuk, began in November of 2009 and was funded by the Commander's Emergency Response Program, according to 1st Lt. Zachery Brown, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, and fire effects officer with 1/37th Armor.
Citizens around Kuna Riwi and IA soldiers also played a critical role in the building of this school, he continued.
The people of Kuna Riwi and IA soldiers made the plans for the school, chose the contractors, ensured the paperwork went to the right people and just took initiative to make sure this project happened, said 1st Lt. Brown.
Because they put so much work into this school, we know they will take pride in it and protect it, according to Lt. Col. Geoffery Catlett, commander of 1/37th AR.
Catlett and leadership of Kuna Riwi began the ceremony with a ribbon cutting and speeches in front of the school.
Following the speeches, the children of the school received backpacks full of school supplies.
Then the dignitaries and teachers toured the new school.
During the tour the English teacher at the school, Noor, who prefers to go by her first name, spoke of the differences of the old and new school.
"Just a month ago I was teaching 120 children in a single room school made of mud, now thanks to the army (Iraqi) and U.S. forces our children have a school to make their education level grow," said Noor.
At the end of the ceremony, the children rushed to their new classrooms to open their bags and sit at their desks.