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    USS Mason Sailors Volunteer at School in Bahrain

    USS Mason (DDG 87) RIA Institute COMREL

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Janweb Marcyn Lagazo | 160904-N-CL027-177 ADLIYA, Bahrain (Sept. 4, 2016) Hull Technician 3rd Class David...... read more read more

    By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Janweb B. Lagazo, USS Mason (DDG 87) Public Affairs

    ADLIYA, Bahrain (Sept. 4, 2016) Sailors from the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87), part of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (Ike CSG), volunteered at the Regional Institute for Active Learning (RIA) in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Sept. 4.

    Fifteen Sailors volunteered for more than two hours at the non-profit school, where they participated in arts and crafts, snack time and dance time.

    “[These volunteer activities] are important because they show another side of the Navy,” said Culinary Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Aaron Pinkney, from Atlanta. “Experiencing another culture is always exciting in my opinion – from habitual routines, music or even the food they consume. There is so much to learn from other countries, and being able to stand side-by-side with them to help children was fascinating.”

    Pinkney continued to explain that the teachers were very patient and loving to the children.

    “From my experience at the school, I noticed that a lot of the children come from a lot of different places,” said Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class (SW) Coren Demastus, from Fort Smith, Ark. “The teachers work very hard with the children to get through the language barriers. You can tell how much the teachers really care about the education and overall well-being of the children.”

    There are 15 certified educators working at the RIA Institute.

    Maureen Daniel, a teacher from Pakistan, said, “Here at RIA, we have classes for normal students and those with special needs. The number of students has varied throughout the months but number about fifty, eventually increasing to about sixty later in the year.”

    Daniel mentioned that the students moved to Bahrain from all across the globe and that the teachers also come from all over the world and speak multiple languages.

    “If you look at the different walks of life through that tiny school house, you realize that Bahrain is just like the U.S. – a melting pot,” said Fire Controlman 3rd Class Travis Walters, from Grenada, Miss. “We had students, teachers, and teacher’s assistants from all across the Middle East, India, and parts of Asia. Growing up in a multicultural world will definitely help the children once they become older with already having established a sense of being with people of different cultures.”

    The event was organized and coordinated by Lt. Mario Amaro, from Mason, Ohio, who is assigned as the ship’s chaplain for deployment.

    “On even their first day of school, many of the children were very trusting of us as new adults,” Amaro said. “They must come from homes and neighborhoods which are very supportive and build their esteem in order to interact with adults so confidently.”

    Daniel explained that the school also taught special needs students and those with learning disabilities.

    “They keep the regularly developed and the developmentally delayed students together for the first several years of schooling,” Amaro said. “That is very helpful toward normalizing differences, especially during those formative years in education and socialization.”

    Amaro praised the teachers and their ability to help the children.
    “The children were such sweethearts,” Pinkney said. “Such innocence and joy comes from them once you begin to interact with them. I would definitely visit them again if we were to pull back into Bahrain.”

    Mason is deployed to support maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations and deployed with the IKE CSG. Along with Mason, IKE CSG includes the CSG 10 staff, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26 staff, the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, the guided-missile cruisers USS San Jacinto (CG 56) and USS Monterey (CG 61), and the DESRON 26 ships: guided-missile destroyers USS Stout (DDG 55), USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) and USS Nitze (DDG 94).

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    Date Taken: 09.04.2016
    Date Posted: 09.28.2016 00:07
    Story ID: 210785
    Location: ADLIYA, BH 
    Hometown: ADLIYA, BH
    Hometown: BAHRAIN, BH
    Hometown: ATLANTA, GA, US
    Hometown: FORT SMITH, AR, US
    Hometown: GRENADA, MS, US
    Hometown: MASON, OH, US
    Hometown: NORFOLK, VA, US

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