MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Combat Center Marines visited Friendly Hills Elementary School March 3, 2014. to interact with students during the National Education Association’s Read Across America Day.
Read Across America Day, which coincides with Dr. Seuss’ birthday, is a nation-wide, annual event designed to promote literacy and further engage students in reading.
During the visit, eight Marines with Headquarters Battalion assigned to different classrooms, each with different Dr. Seuss books to read to the students.
“Everyone has a favorite Dr. Seuss book,” said Lance Cpl. Ruthiea Johnson, administrative specialist, HQBN. “It was a great opportunity to come here and promote the importance of reading and education to these children. When I was a kid, if Marines came to my classroom, I definitely would have developed a greater interest in reading.”
Various units aboard the Combat Center will be going to elementary schools within the Morongo Basin throughout the week to take part in the Read Across America event.
“This week, like any other week, we are focusing on promoting literacy,” said Jennifer Sands, principal, Friendly Hills Elementary School. “It is special this week, however, because we were able to have the Marines visit the children. To them, it is like having heroes on campus. They are a great tool to help inspire these children about the importance of reading and academics.”
The Marines read to various age groups throughout the day, visiting students from grades kindergarten through third.
“My favorite part of the day was having the Marines here,” said Jennifer Paula, kindergartner, Friendly Hills Elementary School. “They also read my favorite Dr. Seuss book, which is ‘I Am Not Going To Get Up Today!’”
Dr. Suess, born Theodor Seuss Geisel, on March 2, 1904, published more than 40 childrens’ books still being purchased today. He is remembered as one of the best childrens’ literature authors of his time.
Marines with the Combat Center participate with local schools during the holiday annually, and continue to promote positive relations, as well as the importance of education, in the community.