San Ysidro, California - Sailors from the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) helped teach a "Zero-Hour" physical education (P.E.) class at Willow Elementary School in San Ysidro, California, Tuesday.
The event was part of Makin Island's adopt-a-school program which assists with community outreach.
Aviation Boatswain's Mate Handling 2nd Class (AW/SW) Nakedia Thompson and Electronics Technician 2nd Class Farrah Rangel provided instructions on proper exercise techniques and safety practices while demonstrating stretching procedures during the class.
"The smile on the kids' faces alone is worth the trip here," said Rangel. "They thanked me for coming out and everyone seemed to have fun."
Students participate in P.E class before the school day begins to allow more time in the afternoon to devote to their studies.
"We are thankful for the Sailors that help out with our kids," said Manuel Boroquez, Willow Elementary School's principal. "This physical education class is a great way to start the day for our students who need extra help in language arts and math."
The students participate in a variety of sports during the session.
"I like this class a lot," said 13-year-old Charles Ingram. "I enjoy playing soccer and football and this is a fun way to start off my day."
Jose Herrera, the school's physical education teacher, commented on how helpful the Sailors were during the workout.
"I teach five classes here," said Herrera. "I'm thankful for the Sailors help because there is a lot to oversee with more than 50 students in this "Zero-Hour" class and I have noticed a positive difference in the students. The more help we can get, the better."
Makin Island Sailors will be participating in another "Zero-Hour" P.E. class on March 25 and tutoring on March 27.
Makin Island promotes the Navy's culture of fitness by engaging physical activities such as the Biggest Loser Fitness Competition, 5K runs, the bi-annual physical fitness assessment, while continuing to provide nutritious options to crewmembers.
Commissioned in 2009, Makin Island is the Navy's newest Wasp-class amphibious assault ship capable of utilizing surface and air assets to move Marine forces ashore. The ship is named in honor of the daring World War II raid carried out by Marine Raider Companies A and B, Second Raider Battalion, on Japanese held Makin Island Aug. 17-18, 1942. LHD 8 is the second ship to bear the name "USS Makin Island."