53rd IBCT Soldiers participate in Great American Teach-in
By Staff Sgt. Aidana Baez, 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team
PINELLAS PARK, Fla, (November 16, 2012) – Soldiers from the Florida National Guard’s 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team participated in the annual Great American Teach-in at the Shore Acres Elementary School in St. Petersburg, Fla., November 15, 2012.
The Great American Teach In is a part of Pinellas County Schools’ annual American Education Week celebration.
Sgt. Shannon D. Bridges, 53rd Brigade Support Battalion, was asked to participate in the event by Kimberly Stoessel, assistant principal at Shore Acres Elementary School.
“She saw me in uniform, when I was picking my son up from school,” Bridges said. “She asked me if I wanted to help out and I thought it was a great idea.”
“We are very fortunate to have parents that are so involved,” Stossel said. “This is a perfect way for the community to help teach the students.”
Bridges, along with other 53rd Brigade Soldiers, brought military vehicles to the school. After a giving a brief class on each vehicle, the students were allowed to climb in the vehicles and get a feel for what it is like to be a Soldier.
Some students showed the Soldiers their abilities by performing push-ups for them.
Shayden Bridges, Shannon Bridges’ son, was so excited to have his dad participate in the event that he wore his own army uniform to school.
“I want to be an army guy when I grow up,” Shayden Bridges said. “I want to be big and strong like my dad.”
The student groups ranged from kindergarteners to fifth-graders. Each class had different questions but the emphasis was the same, even in the Army, education comes first.