During the week of November 2nd, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Buffalo District Deputy District Commander MAJ Jared E. Runge spearheaded an effort by a diverse cross section of 23 employees from who read to elementary school students at the Charter School for Applied Technologies, Buffalo, NY, as part of the “Celebration of Reading” program.
The program highlights the importance reading plays in getting a good education, exposes the students to a wide variety of jobs, provides an opportunity for them to any ask questions they might have, and hopefully motivates students to pursue a career in the science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) field.
Why is the world’s largest public engineering organization involved with getting young people to read?
Perhaps it is as Professor of Philosophy A.C. Grayling said, “To read is to fly: it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history.”
“There is a more practical side to the Corps of Engineers’ commitment,” said MAJ Runge. “In order to ensure the future success of the organization, it is critical that our schools produce the next generation of engineers and scientists. The key to all education is reading, and not merely reading, but a love of reading.”
District employees asked students to share what they wanted to be when they grew up. The excitement they had for the future was amazing. The students were only limited by their imagination and their passion to live their dreams.
Engaging with the students also had an effect on the District employees.
“Reading to the 2nd grade class today energized me and forced me to boil down my career motivations to the simplest possible terms,” said David Frothingham, Chief of the USACE Buffalo District Environmental Branch. “It was entertaining and left me with a smile on my face and a renewed appreciation for my job.”
Investing time and effort into America’s education system is a smart and will ensure that the Nation will continue “Building Strong©.”