Troop Support military visit local elementary school for Read Across America Day

By Nancy Benecki DLA Troop Support

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The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go,” wrote Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known to the world as Dr. Seuss, in his famous children’s book, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”

Eleven active duty military members from the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support went to Gilbert Spruance Elementary School in Philadelphia to read to students in kindergarten through third grade for National Read Across America Day on March 2.

Service members read “The Book Tree” by Paul Czajak to the students.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for our active service members to make a difference in the lives of school children in our community,” said Army Brig. Gen. Gavin Lawrence, commander of DLA Troop Support. “It is so important to inspire a love of reading in young children. Read Across America is the perfect event to foster that love, and it gives the students a chance to have a positive and meaningful interaction with members of the military.”

Participation in Read Across America is a part of DLA Troop Support’s larger partnership with the School District of Philadelphia. This marks the second year DLA Troop Support participated in Read Across America at Spruance Elementary School.

“We get to do some amazing things in the military, but giving back to the community has always been one on my favorite things,” said Army Maj. Lionel Macklin, program manager for combat feeding in the Subsistence supply chain who served as a volunteer reader for this program for the last two years. “[Because] I am a big kid at heart, interacting with children is some of the most rewarding time I’ve had in my career. No matter if I’m giving backpacks and school supplies to local village children in Afghanistan or reading books and answering questions about my job at Spruance, the local elementary school, I always enjoy myself with the children.”

DLA Troop Support holds a number of other events for the school district throughout the year, including career days, holiday parties for children, and reading events on Veterans Day.

Read Across America is the nation’s largest celebration of reading, according to its website. It has grown into a year-round program that focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources. It is held annually on the school day closest to March 2, which was Dr. Seuss’ birthday.