General Passes on Love of Reading
April 28, 2009
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii (April 17, 2009) - The students sat in a semi-circle in the school library with their faces cupped in the palms of their hands while they listened to a story read to them by a visitor. Usually their teachers read the books, but today a general from the U.S. Army read them their story.
MG Raymond Mason, commanding general, 8th Theater Sustainment Command made a special trip to Gustav H. Webling Elementary School, April 17 to promote reading and the month of the military child.
April was designated as the "Month of the Military Child" in 1986, and it has allowed the Army the opportunity to focus on military children and acknowledge their sacrifices.
"I used to read to my children when they were growing up," MG Mason said. "I don\'t get an opportunity to read much to kids these days, so I want to let you all know the value of reading - it can open doors for you."
During the visit, Mason read "The Enormous Carrot," to a class of kindergarteners. The book was about teamwork and MG Mason emphasized the importance of working together as a unit to get a job done.
"If a lot of people get together, things can happen," MG Mason said to the students. "You all can do many things, but if you work as a team, you all can accomplish even greater things."
He also read "Is there really a human race'" to a second and third grade class. The book uses a play on the word "race" and is about taking "one's" time and trying one's best, instead of beating the rest.'
The school principal, Sherrylyn Yamada, said the students receive special visits throughout the school year and are happy to have any community leader take the time to read to them.
"We love visits like this," Yamada said. "These visits are great because they encourage children to read and make it a part of their daily lives."
She said the school promotes reading every day to build life-long learning, which she said can be gained through opening a book.
"Reading is an important thing year-round," Yamada said. "It's great to see that MG Mason shares that same value with us. It makes a big difference to the students to have someone encourage that view."
The school year may be coming to a close for the students of Webling Elementary, but the school principal said guest speakers are still welcome to visit the school to read to the children and share words of wisdom.