Fort Benning Community
Leader Rakkasans visit South Christian Elementary
Story by SSG Cody Harding on 01/17/2019
FORT CAMPBELL, KY Soldiers assigned to 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) visited South Christian Elementary School in Herdon, Kentucky to meet with the students Jan. 11.
“Leader” Battalion sent Soldiers from Headquarters Company to visit South Christian in order to assist the faculty with classes and interact with the students.
“It’s always fun when the Soldiers of Leader Battalion get to interact with the students from South Christian Elementary,” said 1st Sgt. Jason Lyday, the Headquarters Company senior enlisted advisor. “Building that bond with our partner school is important not only for the kids but the Soldiers.”
Soldiers from the battalion’s headquarters’ company received students as they arrived to school and accompanied them to breakfast. Throughout the morning, Soldiers assisted the teachers by joining their classes and participating with the children in various activities which included reading, art, math, and physical education before returning back to Fort Campbell.
“I love the Rakkasans partnering with our school” said Jennifer Wallace, the sixth grade math teacher. “The most valuable time given is when they spend time tutoring and getting to know the students. Our students enjoy having role models and engaging with the soldiers.”
The partnership between the children of South Christian Elementary School and Leader Battalion has been a great success for the past several years. The relationship continues to provide events that are enjoyable for the Soldiers, faculty, and the children of the community.
It was a great experience with the Rakkasans, said Megan Wise, the first grade reading teacher.
“Our Rakkasan, Joe’ was really great with the students and allowed them to ask him questions about his job, etcetera.” said Wise. “The 1st Sgt. also had a question/answer session with our first graders and they loved it. We never have the opportunity to sit down and talk with them before so our students were super excited that the soldiers were there to talk with them and not just “there.” I definitely feel that having the Rakkasans coming into our school just shows the students, especially those with military loved ones, that they can relate to them and view them as friendly.”