By Walter T. Ham IV, Eighth Army Public AffairsMay 3, 2013
SEOUL - Soldiers from the Eighth Army Fire Support Element have set their sights on improving the English language skills of the students at Itaewon Elementary School.
For more than a year, the Soldiers have taught a Friday English class for 5th and 6th graders at the school close to Yongsan Garrison, the U.S. military headquarters post in South Korea.
According to Eighth Army Fire Support Officer Capt. Eugene Kim, the Soldiers coordinated with the school's principal to set up the classes for the students.
A Los Angeles native, Kim said the classes have "resulted in a solidified working relationship with the school and the invaluable interaction between the Korean youth with U.S. officers and NCOs."
The U.S. Army captain said the best part of the classes is "that we put a face on U.S. Soldiers."
Native English classes are highly sought after in South Korea, a nation with one of the top ranked education systems in the world.
In addition to Itaewon Elementary School, Eighth Army has partnerships with dozens of South Korean schools where American Soldiers interact with students.
Eighth Army Soldiers participate in wide variety of volunteer activities around the Korean Peninsula, from hosting community events on U.S. installations to delivering heating coals to residents.