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News > North Charleston Elementary School visits Joint Base Charleston
North Charleston Elementary School visits Joint Base Charleston

Posted 6/2/2010   Updated 6/2/2010 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Darren Ellis
315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

6/2/2010 - JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Two hundred thirty six smiling elementary students from North Charleston Elementary School visited Joint Base Charleston, S.C., May 26 as a reward for their scholastic reading accomplishments throughout the year.

Each student was required to read 25 books over the course of the school year to be eligible for the trip here, and nearly 75 percent of the students completed the required reading, said Deborah Bobo, the North Charleston Elementary School media specialist.

"The program was called 'Revving It Up For Reading,'" said, Mrs. Bobo. "Visiting the base is the final reward this year for the students that completed the program."

The students began their Joint Base Charleston adventure in the parking lot next to the Fitness and Sports Center. The 628th Security Forces Squadron provided a K-9 demonstration which ended with much applause as the military working dog correctly located a simulated hazardous device that was hidden in one of several suitcases.

After the K-9 demonstration, the students assembled courtside at the fitness center. The 628th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordinance Disposal Flight wowed the students with a demonstration of miscellaneous military ordinance. During the demonstration, EOD members dressed Mrs. Bobo in a bomb suit to demonstrate some of the gear worn by EOD members here. The highlight of the moment came when Staff Sgt. Steve Stone, a 628 CES EOD craftsman, introduced the students to an EOD robot and gave a working demonstration of its abilities.

1st Lt. Sylvester d'Agrella, 628 CES EOD flight commander, was asked by two students if the robot was from outer space.

"It's a real robot," said 1st Lt. d'Agrella. "It just looks like it came from outer space."

The last stop of the day was at the Airpark. Upon arrival, the children were greeted by Sparky the Fire Dog. The students swarmed Sparky, and he gave them high fives and hugs. The 628 CES Fire Emergency Services Flight also brought a fire truck for the students to see and dazzled them when a crash truck shot large streams of water
toward the trees during their lunch break at Airpark.

According to Lisa Sewell, a North Charleston Elementary School teacher, the students who read the books gain more than just field trips. They learn how to look up books suitable for their specific reading level. They learn time management, as they are required to read 30 minutes each night. They develop better writing skills as they maintain a summary log of their readings. It's also a great way for the students to spend more time with their parents, she said.

"The reading program is having a great impact on the students that participated," said Bobo. "We really pushed it this year."

Five representatives from Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs, 13 other volunteers from around the base, 23 teachers and 12 parents worked hand-in-hand to ensure the scheduled events of the day were a success.

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