Monday, February 28, 2011

I Love to Read Week & Missoula Smoke Jumpers

I was browsing through the images on my camera and came across some photos that I originally meant to post a few weeks ago during "I Love to Read Week". I suppose that's what you get when you take so many pictures - I completely forgot to share about this special time with the kids. It is so awesome that our school celebrates I Love to Read Month in February. Among the many wonderful things we do to celebrate, an absolute favorite is the celebrity reader(s). Our PTA does such a wonderful job getting community members to come into our school to read. In years past we've had local news anchors, Montana Grizzly Football players, local business owners/workers, and even the Mayor come in and read to our kindergarteners.

This year we had a special treat - a visit from two "real-life" Smoke Jumpers from the Missoula Smoke Jumpers Center.  A field trip to the Smoke Jumper center is typically one of our field trips in the spring. We learn about what they do and take a tour of the facility, and get to see the inside of  Smoke Jumper aircraft.  I'd have to say that the majority of the kids at this point didn't have a clue what a Smoke Jumper was - but it didn't take long to catch their interest. All they really had to say was that they jump from airplanes to fight fires. Not only did the Smoke Jumpers read a story to the kids, they also brought along their full Smoke Jumper gear-  helmet, jumper, parachute, and other items of interest.  I'll admit - there is quite a bit that a Smoke Jumper must strap on before heaving themselves out of a plane, only to land in the middle of a fire. Wow! Here area few pictures of the kids and our Smoke Jumper (celebrity) readers. Thank you Travis and Ashton, for coming to read and sharing about the exciting work you do. See you in the spring!

Reading a nonfiction book about what a Smoke Jumper does. They are firefighters with the special, and dangerous, job of fighting fires in hard to reach places. There approximately 400 smoke jumpers in the United States.
A Smoke Jumper relies on a buddy to safety-check his equipment before boarding the plane. A smoke Jumpers gear is very heavy.
Suited up and ready to go. But don't forget the reserve parachute!
Travis and Ashton demonstrates that the parachute is automatically opened by a ripcord that is attached to a zip-line on the aircraft. The parachute is released by the ripcord as they jump from the plane.  There is also a secondary "safety" parachute attached to the front.  The kids were very "concerned" about the 1st parachute not opening.

1 comment:

  1. How wonderful to have such important people come and read to all of you!!