“Wranglers” help students with math fun

Story by Staff Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley, Public Affairs Officer, 15th SB
Photos by  Todd Martin, Killeen Independent School District public relations

FORT HOOD, Texas — Soldier-volunteers of 15th Special Troops Battalion “Wranglers,” 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), helped Clarke Elementary teachers with their first annual Math Night Fall Festival on the school’s field here, Oct. 28.

The event was the last volunteer event the “Wrangler” Soldiers attended at Clarke, the 15th STB’s adopted school.

The Math Night Fall Festival included math-oriented versions of games like guessing a pumpkin’s weight, tic-tac-toe, counting by fives, croquet, pattern toss, and even slime making.

“I think this is a nice thing,” Staff Sgt. Joseph Rutledge, 1st Platoon Sergeant for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 15th STB and Ft. Hood resident, said.

Within the first hour of the event, Rutledge estimated an attendance of 200 students, their family members, and Soldiers.

“When you have something like this you can see the parents really care about their children,” Rutledge, a father himself, said.

Kindergarten through third grade costume-wearing students and their parents quickly turned a vacant field into a bustling, game-filled event. Teachers and volunteers gave children candy as rewards in the various games.

“It’s cool, they got games and stuff,” said 9-year-old Cameron Kitchen, a Clarke third grader, after playing his first game of the evening. “I only got one piece but I want lots of candy.”

According to Clarke kindergarten teacher and Killeen, Texas resident Sarah Taylor, not many parents and students attended previous years’ Math Nights.

“We were just trying to think of something new to do,” she said. “We’ve found that just having math night, people just don’t want to come.”

The school also sold cold drinks and popcorn to raise money for charities. For some volunteers, like Staff Sgt. Gaidicilin Suira, a “Wrangler” training specialist and Eisabela, Puerto Rico native, volunteering at schools is a regular activity.

“I like kids, I like to work with kids. They are very fun, interesting, and always happy,” Said Suira, who also said she volunteered at schools while stationed on Fort Wainwright and in Hawaii.

Rutledge agreed.

“It shows the love for the children,” he said. “The children are having fun and that’s all we really care about.”

 

news photoClarke Elementary students play games at a Math Night Fall Festival at the school here Oct. 29 accompanied by teachers, Soldier-volunteers from the 15th Special Troops Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), and Family members. (Photo by Todd Martin, Killeen Independent School District public relations)

 

news photoStaff Sgt. Gaidicilin Suira, a “Wrangler” training specialist and Eisabela, Puerto Rico native, encourages a Clarke Elementary student while volunteering at the school’s Math Night Fall Festival at the school here Oct. 29. (Photo by Todd Martin, Killeen Independent School District public relations)