NEW YORK (NNS) -- New York City-based Sailors participated in a Read Across America event at Public School (PS) 195 in the Bronx, New York, March 2.
Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program hosted by the National Education Association (NEA) that calls for all every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of children's author Dr. Seuss.
Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Anuradha Sharma, from Queens, New York, took time to read books to some of the students at PS 195.
"It is always fun to get out and interact with the community like this," said Sharma. "Seeing the looks on the students' faces when we walked into class was so heartwarming that you couldn't help but smile."
Many of the Sailors participating in the event were Reserve Sailors from Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) New York. These Sailors took time out of their civilian lives and careers once again trading in business attire for a military uniform in order to give back to their community.
"It's always important to get out into the community here in New York and show people the Navy's presence here," said Sharma. "This event was about more than just that though, it was about teaching kids a love for reading."
The Sailors received a warm welcome by the students and staff at PS 195. Teachers prepared special projects and reading activities while students waited excitedly for the special guest readers to visit their classrooms.
Xiomara Fernandez is the assistant principal for PS 195 and was very excited to have the Sailors come read at the school, she said.
"To have uniformed Sailors take part [in] this special event gives us the opportunity to connect with the larger community, especially those who represent independence and defend our liberties, said Fernandez.
"Their service does not end there, as they also serve as role models for our students. The kids love to see men and women in uniform. It's like bringing an action hero to life."
Fernandez, as well as other members of the faculty and staff at PS195, said motivating children to read is one of the most important factors in student achievement, and although they foster a love of reading throughout the year, Read Across America Day provided them an opportunity to promote community awareness and motivation for lifelong readers.
For more information about Read Across America or to host your own event visit http://www.nea.org/grants/886.htm.
For more news from Navy Office of Information, East, visit www.navy.mil/local/navinfoeast/.