News: Parents, students enjoy Month of Military Child picnic
Story by Lance Cpl. Cayce Nevers
IWAKUNI, Japan - Matthew C. Perry Elementary School hosted a Month of the Military Child picnic at the M.C. Perry Elementary School soccer field here, April 29.
The picnic was held for families to bring the Month of the Military Child to a close.
“Even with all the demands of everyday life, families took a moment to recognize and honor their child as a non-enlisted military support,” said Netra Harwell, a M.C. Perry Elementary School teacher.
Beginning at 9 a.m., the sixth-grade students went to the M.C. Perry soccer field where the five bounce-houses were provided.
Students of every grade at M.C. Perry Elementary School took turns with the bounce-houses, which the volunteer Marines helped to set up.
In 20 minute rotations, each grade spent time in the bounce-houses, screaming and bouncing, enjoying every minute.
Lance Cpl. Daniel J. Schumi, a station military policeman, took time out of his day to lend a hand to the children during the event.
“The kids are energetic and happy,” said Schumi. “They can get a little rowdy, which is why I came out here to make sure the kids are safe.”
After every child had their turn in the bounce-houses, the kindergarten through second-graders and their parents were the first ones to have the picnic. After their lunch, the third through sixth-graders came out for theirs.
Some parents brought food for themselves and their children, while other children received sack lunches from the school.
As parents arrived, students ran to the blankets they brought and sat down to eat.
Once the children were done eating, the children became impatient.
Many students ran from their spots on the soccer field where they were eating to the bounce-houses. Parents followed and watched as their children laughed and bounced inside.
“I had so much fun,” said William Rudolph a 10-year-old M.C. Perry Elementary School fourth-grader. “I love to bounce in those bouncies.”
As the picnic wrapped-up, the parents said goodbye to their children as they picked everything up and headed home or back to work.
Gina Friedhoff, mother of three, ages 15, 9 and 7, valued her time at the picnic with her daughters.
“As a working parent, it is difficult to find time to eat lunch with my child,” said Friedhoff. “Planning a big event like this allowed me to put it into my schedule and make the time.”
The significance of the Month of the Military Child is to recognize the children for all they go through with constant moving, parents on deployment and exercises as well constant working hours.