1-14th Inf. shares PT with Nanaikapono Elementary keiki

| October 25, 2013 | 0 Comments
A 1-14th Inf. Regt. warrior helps motivate, instruct, and participate with students during Soldier Keiki PT, Tuesdays at Nanaikapono Elementary School.  (Photo by Spec. Antonia Heurta, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division)

A 1-14th Inf. Regt. warrior helps motivate, instruct, and participate with students during Soldier Keiki PT, Tuesdays at Nanaikapono Elementary School. (Photo by Spec. Antonia Heurta, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division)

 

1st Lt. Timothy McCracken
1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment
2nd Styker Brigade Combat Team
25th Infantry Division

WAIANAE — Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, gathered at Nanaikapono Elementary, recently, as they do every Tuesday, to work on physical fitness with the students as part of their local school partnership program.

The program was first created when Nanaikapono’s Kevin Eiker, Health and Fitness teacher, and Maria Marbella, military liaison, met up with 1st Lt. Timothy McCracken, 1-14th Inf. Regt. school liaison in August to discuss how the military could be more involved on a regular basis.

“Right now, each class from kindergarten through sixth grade only gets 40 minutes for every two weeks, which is definitely not enough time,” said Eiker. “Recommended is 60 minutes each day and they’re getting only 40 minutes every two weeks for structured fitness time.”

To address this issue, 1-14th Inf. Regt. reserved time Tuesday mornings to give Soldiers the opportunity to conduct physical fitness with students.

“It’s the best part of my day on Tuesday mornings when you see the kids,” said Spc. Shaun Elder, Company C, 1-14th Inf. Regt. “It’s not just engaging them to become more physically fit, but it’s getting them to see the importance of it and seeing their smiles when they know they’ve reached their goals.

“Little things like showing them how to run better and not sprint right at the start of the half mile assessment was fulfilling,” Elder continued. “Opportunities like this make other Soldiers want to get involved because they see us volunteering and making a difference within the community.”

Soldiers and keiki are not the only ones who benefit from this program, as it sends a bigger message to those who observe it firsthand.

Marbella said some of the anticipated school programs and activities that the Golden Dragons will support this school year will strengthen the relationships with not only the school and community, but also with other business and organizations.

The Golden Dragons continue to highlight the importance of volunteerism and community outreach by participating in the Soldier Keiki Fit program on a weekly basis.

“The biggest thing which has the most success with the Keiki Fit program, with the military partnership, is that the message of being healthy and taking care of your body is shown to the kids not just by me but by the Soldiers who come and model and talk to the kids about the importance of being fit,” said Eiker.

“The message is something that they are really starting to buy into, and you can see it in the things they do around school. They just want to be fit, and they are taking it very serious, so it’s been a great success.”

Soldiers recently donated additional physical fitness equipment to further assist the program.

(Editor’s note: McCracken is the unit public affairs representative for 1-14th Inf. Regt.)

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Category: Community, Community Relations

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