HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - For the fifteen five-year-olds gathered at Janiece Thomas's feet, she held the culmination of a week's worth of Dr. Seuss. Big smiles across the children's faces were not only because of their visitor, but actually because of books.

"These children have been ecstatic. The school has read more than 30,000 books total. They love reading; they love learning," said Stephanie Varner, the Louis J. Morris Elementary reading coach.

On March 3, nearly a dozen Army Contracting Command employees volunteered to read at Morris Elementary as part of Read Across America Week. Reading Dr. Seuss books for children in kindergarten through fifth grade, each volunteer said they got a lot out of the time spent with the children. Thomas, from the ACC inspector general office, expressed the thoughts of many of the volunteers.

"I really love doing this, and I think it's a wonderful event," she said. "I read to different grade levels, and they all were attentive and interactive. They wanted to connect to the book and to us as we read."

The volunteers were also there to remind the children not only how important reading is as a cornerstone to success, but also how important it is to stay in school and continue learning throughout life.

Many of the Soldiers were asked questions not only about their education but also about weapons, their uniforms, and their travels. LTC James Crowley tied in the value of his past travels with the continuation of learning.

"Always learn by looking at the world around you," he told the children. "Take a look at each new thing as you walk through life."