Students Learn Team Building At Misericordia
DALLAS TWP. — For a few hours on Monday, Sariah Jones, Taina Santiago and Akeira Jackson weren’t just elementary school students. They were on “Team Coast Guard.”
The three Wilkes-Barre residents joined other students from the McGlynn Center at Misericordia University on Monday, where they heard from two veterans and participated in a mock boot camp that had them racing through obstacles courses and working together to solve problems.
They began the day hearing from Earl Granville, 35, of Scott Twp., and Rick Kolberg, 36, of Rockford, Illinois. Granville served nine years in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and Kolberg served in the U.S. Army, with which he was deployed four times. The men were in Boston this weekend for a Spartan Race with the Oscar Mike Foundation, an organization that helps injured veterans participate in adaptive sports. They stopped in Luzerne County after the race.
The time with the McGlynn Center students was an opportunity to explain what a veteran is and share wisdom they’ve learned from their time in the military and after, the men said.
“Having them interact with veterans and seeing what we’re actually doing after are service has ended and what we’re continuing to do to serve our country, I think that’s the most important part of what we do,” Kolberg said.
Granville lost his leg during a deployment in Afghanistan. He told the students that he doesn’t let that bad day define his life.
“I can still live a healthy and happy life, and we still have those choices to make to live those healthy, happy lives,” he said.
He appreciated the teamwork the students would practice later that morning.
“When the weight of adversity gets too heavy, understand you don’t have to carry that weight by yourself. We can carry weight together, veteran or not,” he said.
After listening to Granville and Kolberg,the students joined groups named after different military branches for a series of activities. In one challenge, teams had to move from on blue mat to another by jumping into hoops on the ground. They had to work together to move everyone across. Other events had participants pulling their teammates on scooters or racing under hurdles.
Misericorida occupational therapy students led the activities.
“We take them through different obstacles courses and work on their different abilities that they’re capable of doing,” said Randi Huffman, a junior. “it’s different skills we would work on in (occupational therapy), being interactive with them and getting them involved.”
10-year-olds Jones, Santiago and 9-year-old Jackson said they had a good time and appreciated the messages from Granville and Kolberg.
“I had fun from doing all the activities and the teamwork stuff and meeting people who have been working really hard for us,” Jones said.
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