MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Marines from the Combat Center’s Wounded Warrior detachment participated in an adopt-a-school event at Onaga Elementary School Nov. 14, 2013. The Marines spent the day with children of different grade levels playing bingo, board games, and building blocks.
“I came here last year to do the same types of things with the kids,” said Staff Sgt. Sean O’Leary, patient, Wounded Warrior West: Detachment Twentynine Palms. “These kids look up to the Marines. Spending time with the kids is good for the Marines, but it is a huge deal for the kids.”
When the Wounded Warriors arrived at the elementary school, children immediately noticed and began to smile, wave and thank them for their service. After the warm greetings from the children, the Marines split up, integrating into classes from kindergarten to sixth grade.
The Marines introduced themselves to the students and were assigned different stations throughout the classroom. The stations consisted of bingo, building blocks and board games. The students had 15 minutes at each station until the bell rang to switch.
The teachers gave the students the signal for lunch and while the children were eating, the Marines remained in the classrooms to help the teachers with different tasks including organizing papers, books and assignments.
“I really appreciate the help,” said Margarita Ramirez, 2nd grade teacher, Onaga Elementary. “The Marines are so willing, and take such good care of the children.”
The students returned from lunch with smiles on their faces after seeing the Marines were still in the classrooms. The Marines then began to help teach the children in different subjects including math and reading. The Wounded Warriors each took a couple of the children to separate parts of the classroom and helped teach the material assigned to the students.
“The Marines are awesome,” said Hector, 2nd grade student. “They are a lot of fun and I can’t wait until they come back to visit us again.”
After a couple of lessons from the Marines, the children said their final goodbyes and the Wounded Warriors left the elementary school until the next time they are offered a chance to return.