MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif., --
JOSHUA TREE, Calif. --Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron 374 volunteered their time to play and interact with kids of Joshua Tree Elementary School during recess and physical education at the playgrounds, Oct. 26, 2011.
MWSS-374 is one of several units aboard the Combat Center to volunteer at Joshua Tree Elementary as part of the Adopt-A-School program.
The program connects the Combat Center’s Marines and sailors with schools in the surrounding area and also allows Marines to give back to their local community.
“We’re all one big community here in the Morongo Basin” said Kristina Becker, the Combat Center’s community relations officer. “The program allows Marines to go out and interact with the local community and the young children in the area.”
Pfc. Daniel Kauffman, an electrician with MWSS-374, has been stationed at the Combat Center here about a week and has already found himself getting involved with his new home and neighbors.
Kauffman saw the opportunity to volunteer as a chance to see the surrounding towns and get a jump start in giving back to a community he is going to be a part of. “I just love running around with the kids,” Kauffman said. “I can even put up with all the screaming.”
The children spend their 15-minute recesses and 10-minute breaks before lunch outside in the school’s playground area. There, the Marines play with the kids twice a month and bring a little more structure into their playtime.
They played games of football, basketball and dodgeball, and other playground activities.
The Marines also took part in the school’s physical education class.
With different groups of Marines cycling in and out of the Adopt-A-School program, the kids of Joshua Tree Elementary look forward to seeing who their new playmates are each month.
“I haven’t been to recess in almost nine years,” said Pfc. Nicholas Thomas, an expeditionary airfield systems technician with MWSS-374. “I had fun playing with the kids, and I would do it again.”
MWSS-374 will get their chance to go back to Joshua Tree Elementary soon. The Marine Corps Communica- tion-Electronics School and the Combat Center Band are the next units that will take a timeout for a little recess.