Local VFW Gives Gift of Reading to Emerson Elementary

by Barbara L. Moore

Last February, members of Rainier VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) Auxiliary #2289 delightfully handed out free deluxe patriotic workbooks to 327 students in grades K-5th, at Emerson Elementary in the Rainier Beach community of South Seattle.  It was the school’s Black History Literacy Night, with the children recipients seeming almost as delighted as the adults. 

Emerson’s Family Support Worker, Yolanda McGhee, and Principal, Dr Andrea Drake, were commended by VFW members for putting together a creative program filled with workshops, dinner, music, dance, and story-telling. 

 “The Stolen Ones, and How They Were Missed”, by Marcia Tate Arunga was the featured book read during the program.  The story captivated both old and young. After dinner the Auxiliary members handed out different books to those students lucky enough to attend, leaving the rest to be given out to other classrooms. 

From left to right: Laurie Lukas (Treasurer and Senior Vice President of the Department of Washington VFW), Barbara Moore (Auxiliary President and Department Guard), Adrienne Westmiller (Chaplain and District 2 President) and Virginia Carman (Auxiliary Secretary Sec & Past National President). [Photo: Richard Moore]
Each child also received a small “President’s Day” book.  The Auxiliary provided 300 cookies for the event, which was catered by “Willie’s Taste of Soul”.  The school children beamed at the gift from their local VFW, made available with a $1,000.00 grant from the National VFW Organization. 

The enthusiasm was contagious, as one of the Auxiliary members said, “We were as excited as the children, and glad to provide a patriotic book to each child.  Emerson has a wide range of diversity: The students are so well-behaved, we feel assured that they will grow into fine citizens.  If another grant can be obtained next year, the Auxiliary would be happy to repeat the program.”

Barbara L. Moore is the President of VFW Auxiliary #2289 and joined her auxiliary sisters in handing out books to Emerson Elementary Students on February 16th, 2017.