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New Furnishings, Computers Help Al Kifah Intermediate School

By Spc. Blake Kent, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

MOSUL, Iraq, Oct. 9, 2003 – Students of Al Kifah Intermediate School here were bright-eyed at the start of the new school year, arriving on their first day to find new furnishings and computers.

Soldiers of Company B, 8th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), worked all summer to see that the school in Al Sazare Square would be ready.

The reconstruction project began with $10,000 of project funds, which helped clean and paint the facilities, repair windows and fix plumbing, along with other repairs, said Capt. Chris M. Stallings. An additional $7,000 bought furniture and desks for the school.

The soldiers of Company B didn't stop there. They took an extra step of getting friends and family back in the United States to donate supplies for the school.

"I e-mailed my father, who is retired from the Army. He took the ball and went to his Rotary Club, and had them all donate," Stalling said.

Support came to the troops from the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, National Defense Industrial Association, Anteon Corporation, Advanced Engineering & Research Associates Inc., AHTNA Development Corporation, DynCorp Information & Enterprise Technology, L3 Communications, Wal-Mart Supercenter in Orlando, Flaa., and the Raytheon Technical Service Company. The companies donated five computers and one printer, as well as various school supplies.

The students weren't the only ones excited to see the new equipment.

"The future will be better now," said Mubashir Hameed, a biology teacher in the school. "These computers will help us provide the students a better education."

According to Hameed, the curriculum the school uses for his biology class is more than 10 years old.

"All the units in the books are old, and science has advanced so much," Hameed said. "We really needed these computers. They are a window for the future."

Stalling said the soldiers of Company B plan to continue to support the school to ensure the students have a head start in the new, free Iraq.

"The future of Iraq is these kids," Stallings said. "They are seeing something at their age that even their teachers haven't experienced before."

(Army Spc. Blake Kent is assigned to the 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.)

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