Airmen read to kids at the CDC

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Michael Washburn
  • 355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Pint-sized eyes of the children in the room are fixed upon the Airman as he sits in a chair that looks like it was built for someone three feet tall. He introduces himself and picks up a book to read to them. They become visibly more excited when they realize the book is 'Dora the Explorer'. Their little hands point at the book as they eagerly let the Airman know which characters are their favorites. They eventually begin to calm down and the Airman begins reading.

Staff Sgt. Edwin Lopez, 355th Logistics Readiness Squadron and a member of the Hispanic Heritage Committee, is taking some time out of his day, along with other Airmen, to read to the children at the Child Development Center, during National Hispanic Heritage Month here Sept. 28.

"We came out twice in September to read and plan to come out twice in October," Sergeant Lopez said. "We read to the kids, try to teach them some Spanish and spend some time with them."

The children's interest in their special guest and how they interacted with him made it fairly obvious that the kids enjoyed the visit from the Airmen.

"They were very excited, they enjoy other people coming in," said Alice Vigliante, an education training tech at the CDC. "They especially enjoy people in uniform because it's like their parents are coming to visit."

Because of their young age, it's easier for the kids to retain information and remember the Spanish Sergeant Lopez taught them, Ms. Vigliante said.

"The kids remember and pick up on the Spanish," Ms. Vigliante said. "Sergeant Lopez often said 'vamonos' and one of the kids would repeat it to him. This is the age when they absorb and learn more."

For Sergeant Lopez, it's important to have events like these and to spend his time volunteering.

"We have events like these to help educate the people on base about our culture and heritage," Sergeant Lopez said. "I help out because I like to do it, I like to volunteer."

Sergeant Lopez encourages everyone to volunteer some of their time and to help others.

"You should always be giving back to the community," Sergeant Lopez said. "It's good to help other people and do charity work and not be always expecting something in return. It builds character and makes you feel good about yourself."