Thursday, April 9, 2009

Oregon National Guard takes part in Read Across America Program

Oregon National Guard Capt. Bobby Baca reads a Dr. Seuss book to first-grade students at Yoshikai Elementary School in Salem, Ore., in early March. Five other Oregon National Guard soldiers also took part in the Read Across America program at the school. Photo and story by Kimberly L. Lippert, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs Office.

For students in Haley Meadows first grade class at Yoshikai Elementary School in Salem, Ore., story time was a bit different March 2. That's because the featured reader was not their teacher, but an Oregon National Guard soldier; Capt. Bobby Baca.

"It's great to be here," said Baca. "Just seeing the kids and letting them know we are here to help the community."

Baca read a Dr. Seuss book to 21 students as part of the Read Across America program.

The program, sponsored by the National Education Association, is meant to increase awareness and motivation for reading for children in communities across America.

The visit to the school coincided with the birthday of Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel, bestselling children's author and creator of such well-known characters as The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham. According to the NEA website, the event brings together people from all walks of life to read to children in communities across the country.

"I think its motivation for kids and such a special day for them to have all of these different people reading to them," Haley Meadows said.

The students laughed as Baca read the rhymes from Dr. Seuss. Afterward, they listened intently as Baca told them about the value of reading.

"There is not a career you are heading to that you don't have to read," he told the children. "Reading is very important."

Five other soldiers from the Oregon National Guard took part in the Read Across America event at the school that day.

This story can also be viewed in the latest edition of the Oregon Sentinel on DVIDS, here.

Posted by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy,
Oregon Military Department Social Media Manager

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