Navy shows teacher appreciation

Published 12:53 am Saturday, October 12, 2019

The U.S. Navy came to schools in Suffolk and other cities in the region to help out teachers in their classrooms on Friday.

Sailors were at 66 area schools in celebration of the Navy’s 244th birthday on Sunday. Activities included raising the morning colors, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, reading to students and more classroom activities, according to a press release.

“Volunteering at schools is a great opportunity to give back to the teachers who give so much to educating our children,” Petty Officer 3rd Class Shawna Alvarez stated in the press release. “[It’s] important to me because I feel myself and my fellow sailors can help mold the future generation.

Email newsletter signup

“It is also rewarding to give back to the community that supports us in our mission.”

Navy volunteers were at Kilby Shores, Hillpoint and Northern Shores elementary schools Friday morning.

At Kilby Shores Elementary School, Petty Officer 2nd Class Kokeithia Humphrey, who is stationed at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, read the children’s books “One Red Rooster” and “A Day at Greenhill Farm” to more than a dozen 4- and-5-year-old students in Early Start teacher Christine Posey’s classroom.

The children listened attentively and followed along with Humphrey’s reading by mooing, clucking and raising other farm animal sounds.

Humphrey said she enjoyed how energetic the students were, and Posey also praised her students’ respectful behavior towards their Navy guest on Friday morning.

“It’s good to have different people come in so they get used to listening to other adults, other than their teachers and their parents, (and) to show respect,” Posey said.

Humphrey was also in art teacher Angie Salerno’s classroom to help students roll up their sleeves and color drawings of fall leaves with blends of oil pastels, or as Salerno described it to her students, putting “colors on top of colors on top of colors.”

Principal Lorri Banks was grateful for the Navy’s classroom readers and art helpers at the school.

“We appreciate any help they can give us and for their service for our country,” Banks said.

There are many military families at Kilby Shores Elementary, according to school counselor Karen Jones, and military personnel have been of great assistance. That includes the Coast Guard personnel that helped paint the interior of the school last summer, Banks said.

“We hope this continues, because they’re always welcome in our building, and our kids really benefit from it,” she said.

The theme for this year’s Fleet Week is “No Higher Honor,” which focuses on the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest sea battle in modern history, according to the Navy press release.

Fleet Week Hampton Roads is being observed from Oct. 11-19 in conjunction with the Navy’s birthday. This week “honors the sacrifices and contributions of sailors, past and present, who are our neighbors, volunteers and citizens who actively work each day to enhance the quality of life for area residents, and recognizes Hampton Roads as ‘America’s Navy Town,’” the press release states.

Kilby Shores faculty love to bring the community into their school to show their students that connection.

“It shows them real life. It’s really cool that our students (don’t) just hear about it. They can see it and be a part of it, and be able to work with the awesome men and women who protect our country. It’s wonderful,” Jones said.