Wolf Pack opens gate to local English students
By Senior Airman Stephen Collier, 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 01, 2007
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea Jan. 19, 2007 --
The Wolf Pack accepted a different kind of Follow-on Forces Jan. 19. Not more than four-and-a-half feet tall, they made their way to base operations, met with pilots and got a chance to see the base exchange. But, they weren't from any U.S. base.
Kunsan opened its gates more than 40 local Korean elementary and middle school students to not only get a look at what Americans do here on a day-to-day basis to defend them, but to help sharpen their English skills so they can compete in tomorrow's business environment.
"This program is great for the young children," said Ms. Rosemary Song, Wolf Pack public affairs director of community relations and United States Forces Korea Good Neighbor Program coordinator. "It's a joy to have them on base, interacting with U.S. servicemembers while learning valuable English skills at the same time."
The students are part of a pilot program between the base and local school system, which introduces native speakers, primarily from the air base, into the classroom to help them better comprehend the English language.
During the visit, the students toured the 8th Security Forces Squadron military working dog complex and got a chance to touch and feel a Wolf Pack F-16.
After seeing the F-16 display, the class moved on to the base exchange's food court, where they learned how to use American currency and understand its relationship to the Won.
"Koreans student don't have many chances to meet foreigners," said Ms. Kim, Keong-a, local seventh-grade teacher. "Today's world means you have to compete with peers around the world, so learning English allows these children to be competitive as adults." The program, which began Jan. 5, has netted 14 volunteers so far. Coupled with other English-teaching programs offered by the Wolf Pack, more than 45 of Wolf Pack members have donated their time to teaching local students.
"Learning another language can help them get a good job, so they learn English because it's a global language," said Ms. Kim.