Coast Guard, state, federal partners team-up for literacy

HONOLULU – Petty Officer 3rd Class Alexis Rendon, left, and Seaman Monica Delgado, both from Personnel Services Support Unit Honolulu, serve kindergarten children at Kalihi-Waena Elementary School green eggs and ham in support of the Read Across America program March 4, 2011. Members from the Coast Guard, Honolulu Fire Department, Honolulu Police Department, and other members from the Oahu community come together to read to the children to help promote literacy during Dr. Seuss’s birthday. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Angela Henderson.

Petty Officer Alexis Rendon and Seaman Monica Delgado serve green eggs and ham. USCG photo by Petty Officer Angela Henderson

HONOLULU – In celebration of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, members from the Coast Guard, Honolulu Fire Department, Honolulu Police Department, and Oahu community members came together to support literacy at Kalihi-Waena Elementary School Friday.

Kalihi-Waena students started their morning with the classic Green Eggs and Ham for breakfast. Afterward, more than 50 guests from federal, state and local government offices, the University of Hawaii, local businesses and Coast Guard personnel read books to the students and answered questions about their jobs.

“It’s so amazing how everyone in the community pulls together to help with the fight for literacy,” said Ronnie Gallardo, the principal of Kalihi-Waena Elementary School. “The Coast Guard, state agencies, and community representatives are making a great contribution in helping to open our youth’s minds.”

Students also toured a 25-foot Response Boat – small, from the Maritime Safety and Security Team Honolulu, a police car from the Honolulu Police Department, and a fire engine from the Honolulu Fire Department.

“As a firefighter, we’re always happy to take part in community events and share with the kids,” said Capt. Kevin Lyons, with the Honolulu Fire Department. This is a good community project that allows us to interact with the children on a one-on-one basis, so they’re not afraid of us in the event of an emergency, state Lyons.

“I’m never too busy, too tired, or too riled to spend a morning reading with a child,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Richard Coughlin, attempting his best Dr. Seuss impression. Coughlin is a yeoman stationed at the Coast Guard Personnel Services Support Unit and this year’s event coordinator for the Partners in Education Program.

“It’s an honor to be able to support Hawaii’s teachers by promoting literacy to the students,” said Coughlin.

For nearly 20 years, the Coast Guard has supported programs at all levels of education in order to enhance educational opportunities for students while working to enforce traditional values, personal initiative, responsibility and individual self worth.

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