Fort Drum Soldiers Give Kids Fitness "GIFT"

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It's loud, it's wild and it's fun for the second and third graders at Evans Mills Primary School and for the soldiers who volunteer to do a fitness program with them each day.

"I like working with the soldiers because it's fun.  They teach us new games and we get healthy," said third grader Jayden Jones.

The program is called Get Into Fitness Today, or GIFT.

Some Fort Drum soldiers from the 10th Sustainment Brigade come to the school each day to run around with the kids and give them a chance to burn off some energy.

"It's a lot to deal with but once you get them to do something they want to do, it's great," said PFC Tawan Tonic, GIFT leader.

A big favorite is Red Light Green Light - not just for the kids, but for the soldiers too.

"The way they get those kids to move, it's funny, it's funny.  I wonder if I looked that crazy when I was a kid," said Tonic.

It's all fun and games, but the program means a lot to the kids.

"It's awesome because they have other things to do but instead they come into the school and help us," said Jones.

"They help a lot of us learn more about gym and exercise and being healthy," said third grader Chloe Parker. 

The GIFT program kicked off this year when soldiers decided they wanted a way to give back to the community. 

It has gone well and will likely continue next year.

Saturday, December 20, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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