CHICAGO (NNS) -- SEALs from the Naval Special Warfare Advanced Training Command (NSWATC) Detachment Little Creek spent the morning June 27 teaching and entertaining a highly-motivated group of young kids at the General Wood Boys and Girls Club of Chicago.
The Navy visit to the club began with a brief introduction by the SEALs followed by a couple of film shorts. Shortly thereafter, Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Joseph Jones assigned to NSWATC Det Little Creek gave a modified SEAL "Mental Toughness" presentation to the group of 75 children, ages six to 12 and then asked them if they were ready to take the SEAL challenge.
"The kids were very active and all of them had a huge smile on their face," said Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class Javier Keyser who is attached to Navy Recruiting District Chicago and assisted in the activity. "This definitely bodes well for our future. The kids had fun while given the opportunity to learn what the Navy is all about at an early age."
After an overwhelmingly positive response, the kids were partnered off with one another and then proceeded to perform pushups and sit ups while SEALs and other support personal coached them on and offered words of encouragement.
"One of our goals is to go out and bring Navy awareness to a diverse audience," said Jones. "Kids in the inner city, especially, have it tough because they also have to battle drugs and crime. The Navy coming here shows that we care about their future and well being. Hopefully, we made a difference and gave these kids other options in life."
Club officials were also impressed with the Navy visit.
"I was really excited that the SEALs were here," said Jodi Johannes, grant coordinator at the club. "These kids have so much negativity in their life. Seeing the Navy and their positive attitude gave the children a strong role to model follow. It was great and encouraging to watch."
The primary mission of a boys and girls club is to have an open affordable facility available where parents can send their children to build character and develop social skills that will enable them to become productive caring citizens.
The visit coincided with Chicago Navy Week 2011, one of 21 Navy Weeks planned across America this year. Navy Weeks are designed to show Americans the investment they have made in their Navy and increase awareness in cities that do not have a significant Navy presence.
For more information about the 2011 Chicago Navy Week, go www.navyweek.org/chicago2011
For more news from Navy Office of Community Outreach, visit www.navy.mil/local/navco/.