The radiance of the sense of magic and anticipation that Christmas evokes shone on children’s faces Dec. 14 at Liberty Elementary as soldiers from the 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, read Christmas stories to the students as part of the battalion’s adopt-a-school community outreach program.
Five soldiers, dressed in costumes related to the tales they shared, read Christmas stories in more than 30 classrooms to students in kindergarten through fifth grade, while other soldiers passed out chocolate and peppermint candy.
Second Lt. Morgan Schultingkemper — a native of Hope Mills, N.C., and a medical services officer with Company C, 703rd BSB — said the goal of the program was to give back to the community that supports soldiers in the Marne division and to support Liberty Elementary, the battalion’s partner school.
The medical services officer, who dressed as a ballerina for her reading of a version of “The Nutcracker,” said the feeling she experienced while reading to the children was priceless.
“It lifted my spirits,” Schultingkemper said. “The stories (and the things) that the children (said are) really warming … especially (at) this time of year.”
Spc. Brittany M. Wallace — a native of Buffalo, N.Y., and a biomedical equipment specialist with Company C, 703rd BSB — distributed candy to Liberty Elementary students during the holiday program. The soldier said the event was enjoyable because she loves being around children.
“It’s like a little fuzzy feeling … to be around a little person and (have) them be excited to see you,” Wallace said. “It’s nice to see a kid be a kid and show them that (they) should be (kids), because once (childhood is) gone, it’s gone.”