|Soldier rallies hometown to help Iraqi schools
Source: Maj. J. Frank Garcia
Soldier rallies hometown to help Iraqi schools
Fort Campbell Courier - 18 Sep 2008
by Maj. J. Frank Garcia, 2nd Brigade Combat Team
BAGHDAD, Iraq – A Soldier has reached back to his native homeland to gather English school books for use in Baghdad classrooms.
Capt. Casey Plamann, a school teacher from Hortonville, Wis., presently serving as a civil affairs information manager and planner with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, in northwest Baghdad, took a great concept and initiated action.
Plamann developed a program that will include routine communication and donations of English school books and supplies. It is based on the Strike Brigade school partnership strategy in the area of operations. The strategy was designed to develop educational capacity within the Baghdad districts of Khadamiyah, Mansour and Kharkh.
“Col. Bill Hickman (the brigade commander) wanted to go beyond the ‘brick and mortar’ concept and actually foster relationships and cooperation inside the classrooms,” Plamann said.
English language teaching aids and assorted school supplies, totaling a staggering 27,000 pounds, recently arrived in Baghdad. The supplies were moved from Wisconsin to Fort Campbell, Ky., and then by military transport to Iraq.
A presentation ceremony is scheduled for Sept. 23 to schools in northwest Baghdad.
Dr. Afrah, an official from the Iraqi Ministry of Education, will participate in the ceremony. The books will be presented to Afrah on behalf of the students and teachers from Wisconsin. They will be distributed to schools in Baghdad by early October, so they are available for the beginning of the Iraqi school year.
Plamann reached back by e-mail to teachers, volunteers, 4-H members and friends in the northeast Wisconsin area to stimulate interest and request support for the program.
“Many volunteers back home took this idea and ran with it,” Plamann said.
The program is designed to eventually be selfsustainable. The partnership schools will dictate their own program once communication is established, he explained. U.S. Soldiers will be required initially to facilitate communication and answer questions that the schools may have.
Plamann said he plans to send e-mails to both Wisconsin and Iraqi teachers to facilitate communication and understanding.
Caption: COURTESY PHOTO Volunteers in Green Bay, Wisc., pack donated books for shipment to Iraq last June. Capt. Casey Plamann, a school teacher from Hortonville, Wis., now serving as planner with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team "Strike," organized an effort from his hometown to send English school books to Baghdad.