Sailors and Marines from Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center’s (NMITC) Partners in Education program hosted a run at Dam Neck Annex on June 8 with students from Princess Anne Elementary School.
More than a 100 service members participated in the 7th annual NMITC Beach Fun Run. Children from Princess Anne Elementary School in Virginia Beach performed warm-up exercises, such as push-ups and mountain climbers and ran in formation with military members at Dam Neck.
Students, who excelled at their school’s Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) fitness test, earned the opportunity to leave school for the morning to participate in the run along the beach at Dam Neck Annex.
First time fun-run participant, 11-year-old Melanie Wells, said the event inspired her and she plans to share that motivation back home. “I would do it again,” said Wells. “I want my parents to run with me because it’s fun.”
The event also included a luncheon and award ceremony.
“I am glad you had a good run,” said NMITC’s commanding officer Capt. William Kotheimer. “Physical fitness is key to good health.”
In an emotional award ceremony, Kotheimer presented a letter of appreciation to Principal Krista Barton-Arnold for her 10-year participation with NMITC’s Partners in Education program.
Barton-Arnold expressed her appreciation, with not only NMITC’s service to the community, but also their continued efforts in motivating children’s lives.
“It’s really inspiring for children,” said Barton-Arnold. “They are more motivated when they work with the Navy and Marines. Physical fitness is something that we work on.”
“Why do we do it?” asked Frank Cubillo, retired Marine Corps colonel and Princess Anne Elementary School volunteer who trained the students. “We do it because these kids are going to replace you, one day,” said Cubillo. “Give back to the community that you came from. You are their role model. Let this be a seed to plant in your head to participate in something as wonderful and meaningful as today.”
For 21 years, NMITC has partnered with local elementary schools in Virginia Beach and has been recognized by the Navy as outstanding partners in educational programs.