Marines share fitness, health tips with local elementary schools
By Lance Cpl. Alicia Small
| | June 15, 2007
MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO --
Students at Bayview Terrace Elementary held a Military Appreciation Field Day June 1, where they learned the importance of proper nutrition and fitness.
Marines from the 12th Marine Corps District and the depot’s Single Marine Program were present at the event to motivate students as they ran through obstacles, and lead them in singing the Marine’s Hymn as well as other patriotic songs.
The children went through different stations where they performed various military exercises such as push-ups, crunches, flutter kicks, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, running drills, pull-ups and the flexed arm hang. Those who gave their effort on the pull-up bar were awarded with their choice of several different prizes.
There was also a station where the children could get their faces painted with camouflage paint, and a Navy booth where children had the opportunity to try on a fire-fighting uniform.
Other booths featured examples of healthy food and good nutrition.
Events like the field day are beneficial to the children for several reasons.
"Kids are so full of energy and they never seem to get tired," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert Aguirre, one of the service members who attended the field day. "Experiences like this provide a way to positively channel their energy while they are having fun and learning at the same time."
Another advantage of occasions like the field day is that it gave children a chance to see a different side of the military than what they usually see on the television, said Aguirre.
"When service members are active in the surrounding communities, it gives the children a more positive outlook on military life," said Lance Cpl. Mayra Ramirez, 3rd Battalion administration clerk. "It also lets them know the differences between each branch and what options they have for the future."
Students at the school were grateful to the service members for dedicating their time.
"I’m glad I got to hang out with the Marines," said Raul Jallegeosoto, 3rd grader. "It was really fun and I think they are all nice. I look up to them for everything they do for the country and I hope I can be like them when I grow up."
Teachers and other staff members at the school hope to make the Military Appreciation Field Day a tradition and said it was well worth starting.
This was the second year Bayview Terrace Elementary has held this event to show the local troops their gratitude for what they have done, and to teach the children about what the military really does, said Kelley Sitar, SMP Coordinator.
"It’s a huge motivation for both the children and the Marines. The children enjoy the event because they have the chance to be around someone they admire, while the Marines get pleasure from knowing how much they mean to the children and the local communities," said Sitar, of Corona, Calif.
Everyone involved in the event felt it was a success and said they look forward to participating in it again next year.