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Marines with Special Purpose Marine-Air Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa, help local students practice their English at 3rd Circolo Didattico ‘’Giovanni Paolo II’’ Gravina Di Catania, Italy, May 18, 2016. The Marines and sailors interacted with the children, going over some English for an upcoming test, as well as creating and participating in games during the children’s recess period. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Alexander Mitchell/released)

Photo by Cpl. Alexander Mitchell

Marines give local students a reason to smile

27 May 2016 | Cpl. Alexander Mitchell 2nd Marine Logistics Group

Marines and sailors with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa, volunteered their time to teach English, and play games with elementary students from 3rd Circolo Didattico ‘’Giovanni Paolo II’’ Gravina Di Catania, Italy, April 22, 2016.

Community events such as these allow the Marines and sailors to connect with the local community, helping to build strong relationships with the Sicilian people and their government.

“The teachers were incredibly grateful for our help teaching and interacting with the students,” said Lt. Arthur Briggs, the chaplain with SPMAGTF-CR-AF. “They thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent with them and couldn’t thank us enough.”

Marines and sailors with SPMAGTF-CR-AF have participated in a wide variety of community service events, taking place and Briggs plans to continue them as often as possible. Mayor Domenico Rapisarda greeted and thanked the Marines as they arrived to the elementary school.

“By being there to greet the Marines, the mayor showed how much this event meant to the people of Catania, said Briggs. “He expressed his gratitude by shaking each Marine’s hand, personally thanking everyone for participating in the event.”
By reaching out to serve the children of Sicily, Marines and sailors hope to give back to their host country as well as establish a legacy of positive community involvement.

“We hope to continue to forge and foster our relationship,” said Briggs. “Showing how much we care for the next generation of children by teaching them and interacting with them builds long lasting memories and friendships.”

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