FORT STEWART, Ga. - Soldiers of the 2-3 Brigade Special Troops Battalion “Titans”, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, joined faculty and students of the Richmond Hill Elementary School to read Dr. Seuss books to the children at the elementary school March, 1.
Shila Cantele, the school librarian and media specialist, was the coordinator for the day’s event. She explained that March 2 is Dr. Seuss’ birthday, as well as the National Read Across America Day, and that the Titans wanted to participate in any way they could.
“We didn’t even have to ask for any help, someone from the unit contacted me and said, ‘We’d like to come in and read to the children,’” Cantele said.
The Titan Soldiers didn’t just go to the school to read a couple books though. They went to promote the importance of reading, said 1st Lt. Jeff Walker, a native of Hays, N.C., and the intelligence officer in charge for 2-3 BSTB.
“[Soldiers] serve as a great role model in the classroom; It’s really good to have someone the students look up to, taking reading and education seriously,” Cantele concurred.
Walker also iterated that the community as a whole played a very large part in the soldiers participating in the school.
“The school, and the Richmond Hill community, are both very supportive of the military, so it’s good for us to come out for a face to face to give back and to support the school and the children,” Walker said.
While the purpose of the day was vastly important, the tone of the day was one of fun and enjoyment. Many of the students were dressed up in cat in the hat hats, and all seemed eager to hear they’re favorite Dr. Seuss story, and to share with the soldiers all they’ve learned about Dr. Seuss.
“We spend so much of the year stressing standards, focusing on end-of-the-year testing - It’s usually work-work-work, so it’s good to just have a fun day to celebrate education, learning and reading,” Cantele said.
All in all, the day was full of fun community relations as the Titan soldiers interacted with the children; yet there was no mistaking the strongest sentiment of the day, which was Dr. Seuss’ legacy as his spirit and message were present in each classroom.
This legacy is probably alliterated best by Dr. Seuss in his book, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!”.
“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”