MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
The Child Development Center’s Youth and Teens program hosted the Superhero Support Group event in the Mustang Room of their main building, April 16, 2014. The event was part of a month-long celebration known as Month of the Military Child.
The scene opened with a group of superheroes who wouldn’t normally be in the same room together. A boy with super speed, a girl with super strength, another who could fly, and two heroes who had the abilities of a cat and dog, all in a room with a doctor who can relieve them of their ‘burden,’ which in this skit, were the powers themselves. Children played the roles of people who were fed up with having their super powers due to the frustration of never being appreciated for the good they do.
Participants took the roles of superheroes who were considering getting rid of their powers. The skit also explored the stresses of being a superhero and what exactly defines someone as a hero.
“The theme of our piece for the Month of the Military Child celebration was art and creativity,” said Monica Romero, program manager, Youth and Teen, CDC. “The focus of the event was to celebrate the month-long celebration, invite the parents, school district and the community to highlight all the things that we do here at the CDC.”
The event also featured an intermission which allowed the viewers to step into another room and view artwork done by the students throughout the year.
“It’s important for people to see that what we’re doing isn’t just a program to do homework after school. We’re doing activities that are enriching children’s minds and experiences,” Romero said. “The skit was a way to expose the children to the art of theatre which is remembering lines of dialogue and playing the role of the characters portrayed. We also staged some of the artwork the children made throughout the year to showcase what they made together.”
Maj. Gen. David H. Berger, Combat Center Commanding General, also observed the children’s artwork and watched the skit performed by the youth.
The banter between the characters developed into a conversation of what a hero is and how just having an extraordinary power does not make a person one. The doctor in the skit then brought up who heroes were, such as firefighter, police officers, teachers and service members in the military.
“I'm very grateful that he took time out of his schedule to come see what we do and support the positive things we’re doing with the children. It shows that he knows we’re here and that it’s important,” said Axel Tayson, program assistant, Youth and Teen, CDC. “The kids rocked the house and I couldn’t be more proud of them for putting on such a great show.”
Opening events like this to the school district allows for more insight on what the CDC does for children and opportunities where both entities could work together to create a continuity of education.
“This is what I love to do,” Tayson said. “When the parents see what their kids are accomplishing, it gives them peace-of-mind because they know that we are doing positive things with a child’s time here.”
The CDC has been hosting events during the month of April in honor of military children. The Youth and Teen programs appreciate military children every day with what they do with the kids after school.
“We are also a family here,” Romero said. “The kids build relationships with the staff and their peers in a place where they come to every day and it gives them a sense of belonging and that’s important all year long.”