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Children establish bonds, lessons through L.I.N.K.S.

By Pfc. Joshua Pettway | | September 11, 2009

The smiling faces of energetic children could be seen in the Air Station Welcome Center as 10 children marched in line and paraded their way to each station during the Lifestyle, Insight, Networking, Knowledge and Skills for Kids Program Saturday.

The program began at 8 a.m. and lasted until 2 p.m. and provided the children with ways to make the most of living with their parent’s military lifestyle.

“The children who attended were 6 - 8 years old and didn’t know each other,” said Julia Gwynn, the Marine Corps Family Team Building L.I.N.K.S. program trainer. “It’s a good opportunity for them to meet each other and make new friends they can relate to.”

The children’s time was filled  withgames and songs, which were designed to help them remember important lessons.
Marching was another of many military lessons the children learned when they attended the program; they also learned about the Marine Corps core values and the phonetic alphabet, internet safety, sharing and how they can support their parents in their own way.

“With some of the activities the children got to give their service member a gift to express how they feel,” said Erika Reidy, the MCFTB L.I.N.K.S. administrative assistant. “The gifts also show how the children want to be supportive of their parents.”

One of the activities the children participated in was to fill a bottle with different ornaments and a message for their service member. Some of the messages the children wrote varied in color to represent some of the emotions they wanted to express, with most expressing an “I love you.”

Another activity required the children to gather in the lounge area where they were told to come up with ways that could help someone else. They each came up with their own unique responses.

At the end of the day, the children were given certificates to confirm that they had gone through the whole program. They also received backpacks filled with games and documents to remember the lessons they were taught.
Lifestyle, Insight, Networking, Knowledge and Skills also has other programs which specialize in helping with financial awareness, dealing with separation and deployments, according to the Web site www.mccssc.com/MCFTB.

For more information or to sign up for a class aboard the Air Station, call 228-7362 or 228-7397 or contact Reidy at reidyea@usmc-mccs.org.