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Lance Cpl. Abisai Ochoa, unmanned aerial vehicle operator, Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 3, reads a book to 1st graders at Joshua Tree Elementary March 1, 2013. Marines with VMU-3 read to the students during National Read Across America Day, an observance in the United States held on the school day close to Dr. Seuss' birthday.

Photo by Cpl. William J. Jackson

Marines from Combat Center open books, read to kids

8 Mar 2013 | Cpl. William Jackson

Marines with Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 3 took a day to read and interact with the children of Joshua Tree Elementary School during National Read Across America Day March 1.          

The National Education Association’s Read Across America is a reading program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of children's author Dr. Seuss.  Suess published 46 children’s books in his career. His most celebrated books include Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Horton Hatches the Egg, Horton Hears a Who!, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

“It’s good to support the community. They support us and we just want to support them back,” said Sgt. John Harrison, imagery analyst, VMU-3.

The Marines also spent time answering questions, coloring and telling stories to the students. The day gave students a break from a normal school day and time to celebrate Dr. Suess’s impact on children’s literature.

“The last class we went to was quite lively,” Harrison said. “We had a lot of questions about what we do. One student even gave us pencils as a souvenir. It’s a great time.”

The Marines were able to see the students in a classroom environment, a refreshing change from the Adopt-a-School Program where Marines and sailors join students at recess and physical education class.

“They love the interaction,” said Daniele Hunter, principal, Joshua Tree Elementary. “Today was extra special because they got to be inside the classrooms. They’ve been looking forward to this for a few weeks.”

The kids are always looking for positive role models, she added. “We really enjoy having (Marines) here. It’s another way to increase the positive culture for our students.”

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms