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Guardsmen volunteer to read to kids

120th Airlift Wing Airmen Staff Sgt. Ashlee Wajer and Airman 1st Class Devon Kennedy volunteer to read a children’s book to students in a daycare in Great Falls, Mont., Oct. 22, 2015. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Eric Peterson/Released)

120th Airlift Wing Airmen Staff Sgt. Ashlee Wajer and Airman 1st Class Devon Kennedy volunteer to read a children’s book to students in a daycare in Great Falls, Mont., Oct. 22, 2015. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Eric Peterson/Released)

120th Airlift Wing Airmen Staff Sgt. Ashlee Wajer and Airman 1st Class Devon Kennedy volunteer to read a children’s book to students in a daycare in Great Falls, Mont., Oct. 22, 2015. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Eric Peterson/Released)

120th Airlift Wing Airmen Staff Sgt. Ashlee Wajer and Airman 1st Class Devon Kennedy volunteer to read a children’s book to students in a daycare in Great Falls, Mont., Oct. 22, 2015. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Eric Peterson/Released)

GREAT FALLS, Mont. -- 120th Airlift Wing air transportation specialists volunteered to read a children's book to kids attending a Great Falls daycare.

Master Sgt. Joshua Archer, Tech. Sgt. Thomas English, Staff Sgt. Shirley Birdwell, Staff Sgt. Robert Hopp, Staff Sgt. Ashlee Wajer and Airman 1st Class Devon Kennedy visited a local daycare to help them participate in the Jumpstart "Read for the Record" campaign.

Jumpstart states on its public website that their reading program is the world's largest common reading occurrence, using community volunteers to help develop an interest in reading among children.

"Read for the Record is an annual event," said Candice English, the daycare director. "Thousands of kids around the world read the same book and so it's just really promoting early childhood literacy in a fun way."

"Not Norman: A Goldfish Story," by Kelly Bennett was the book selected for the volunteers to read this year.

The guardsmen enjoyed the opportunity to visit the daycare and read to the children.

"I enjoyed it," said Staff Sgt. Ashley Wajer. "They were very entertained with the story."

This was the fourth year in a row that Candice English's husband, Tech. Sgt. Thomas English, participated in the reading event. He said the students sat listening to the story in awe of the uniformed military members reading to them.

"It's pretty standard, you read to them," said English. "Then as soon as you're done reading they barrage you with questions about everything."

The event provided the guardsmen a chance to give back to the local community that they live and work in. 

"It's just getting out to the community and letting them know that we're willing to take time out of our day and come down and do something as little as read a story to kids,"

said Airman 1st Class Devon Kennedy. "It was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to doing it again."
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