News: Marines attend Dr. Seuss Day celebration at elementary school
Story by Pfc. Joseph Altemus
Six Marines from Marine Forces Reserve Headquarters participated in the Dr. Seuss Day celebration at Sarah T. Reed Elementary School, March 2.
The Marines attended the event to show students that successful adults stay in school and enjoy reading.
The Marines were welcomed by teachers and students. They signed in and took their seats at tables, where food and drinks were provided, while they waited for their next instructions.
Principal Daphyne Burnett and other teachers gave an introductory speech, which included some famous quotes by Theodor Seuss Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss, as well as a brief biography about his life.
Then the Marines received the Dr. Seuss books they would be reading to the children of the 5th-grade class and headed to each of their selected classrooms.
“We have ‘Young Marines’ at the school who were active participants as tour guides for the Dr. Seuss event, and they were so excited to see the Marines as a part of the day’s festivities,” said Burnett.
The Young Marines is a youth program open to children from the ages of eight years old through the completion of high school that promotes honor, courage and commitment into their lives.
When the Marines entered their assigned classroom, the 5th-grade students stared in amazement at the crisp, near-perfect service bravo uniforms as they came walking tall and proud into the classroom.
Immediately nearly every hand flew high into the air, anxious to be called upon, so the students could ask a question.
After answering a barrage of questions, Maj. Jason Davis, the avionics officer for 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, opened his Dr. Seuss book and began to read.
Soon, all the energy boiling in the air came to a subtle simmer as the kids’ attention was directed to Davis as he read the book with great enthusiasm and animation on his face.
“As children see you defending and protecting our country, they must also see you, the Marines, as one who is invested and involved in the community in positive ways,” Burnett said. “Students then feel more connected and may one day want to grow up to be just like you.”
Across the hall in another classroom, Capt. Tabitha White, the Force casualty assistance calls officer, and Cpl. Irene Perdomo, the distribution management office noncommissioned officer, answered questions and read a Dr. Seuss book to the students of their assigned classroom.
“I think we gave them a sense of hope,” said Cpl. Irene Perdomo, the distribution management office non-commissioned officer. “We were there to set an example for them.”
When they finished their books, they passed out bookmarks to the students who had attended their class. Each student grabbed their own bookmark and joyfully bounced back to their seat.
“The Marines coming helped to inspire our children to see successful people who are still excited about reading, and excited about being a part of our children’s learning environment and future,” said Burnett.
The Marines were each awarded with a certificate of appreciation.
“It was an honor to be able to impact the kids in the next generation,” said Perdomo. “If my words encouraged them to be successful, then I feel I’ve made a difference in this world.”