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Fort Lee soldiers complete ‘most important’ mission at Petersburg school

Posted at 6:28 PM, Mar 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-02 18:33:38-05

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Nearly 50 soldiers from Fort Lee read to students at A.P. Hill Elementary School in Petersburg as part of Read Across America Day. Fort Lee soldiers have donated more than 1,500 books to the school and its students. Fort Lee representative Sgt. First Class Herschel Gillins called this mission the most important mission Fort Lee soldiers undertake.

"It's showing the next-generation coming up. It shows our values. It shows leadership," he said. "It shows not what you see on the news every night. It shows a positive influence, a person that they can look up to and try to emulate if they want to."

The soldiers were not the only ones who read in Petersburg. Governor Terry McAuliffe read to kindergarten and first grade students at A.P. Hill Elementary School. He encouraged students to "read often, eat your vegetables, and work hard."

Virginia State University basketball players read to students at Walnut Hill Elementary School.

"I want my athletes to always give back and to do what they can to support their community. We enjoy the students at WHES and we hope they enjoy us," Lonnie Blow, VSU men’s basketball coach, said.

Read Across America Day is held each March 2 to mark the birthday of children’s author Dr. Seuss.