BAGHDAD - Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldiers from 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment, joined their Iraqi Army partners from the 2nd Battalion, 25th Brigade, 17th Iraqi Army Division, for the re-opening ceremony of the Althaira school in the village of Althaira, Mahmudiyah Qada, March 8.

The Government of Iraq officials, the Mahmudiyah Ministry of Education and MND-B Soldiers developed the project to remodel the school, add classrooms and to improve the facilities.

The Althaira School, constructed in 1971, has one of the largest enrollments of students in Mahmudiyah. Workers completed the $195,000 renovations in 60 days with funding through the Commanders' Emergency Response Program. Coalition forces use the program to assist local Iraqi government and provide communities of Iraq with funding for education, health care, and humanitarian aid.

"This funding for education will benefit 69 school teachers and 485 students in Althaira. The school has received new chairs and desks for the students and more equipment is coming," said Lamyaa Taleb Hamood, the school headmaster.

Local leaders made the Althaira School project a priority and worked with the teachers and staff to improve the educational environment for the students.

"Education is very important to the people of Iraq, the children are very important and I am very happy to supervise the school re-opening and work with political leaders in Mahmudiyah," said Iraqi Staff Col. Wissam Abidul Razaq, commander, 2nd Bn., 25th Bde., 17th IA Div.

This is the third school renovation project 1-63 CAB has completed since arriving in Mahmudiyah Qada and two additional schools under renovation.