By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Justin A. Johndro, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest
SILVERDALE, Wash. – Sailors stationed in Navy Region Northwest, and local community members volunteered to build a playground at Silver Ridge Elementary School through the Personal Excellence through Cooperative Education (PECE) program.
The PECE program is a partnership between the Navy and local school districts focusing on strengthening education, fitness and citizenship to American youth throughout Navy Region Northwest.
“PECE is about forming relationships between the Navy commands and local schools,” said Yeoman 1st Class (SW/AW) Gricel Rodriguez, PECE coordinator, Navy Region Northwest. “We help our community so it can be better for both kids and adults.”
Everyone involved with the playground project spent ten hours piecing together the structure that will be completed in just one day.
“I am absolutely grateful for everything everyone is doing here today,” said Janette Lytle, parent of a Silver Ridge Elementary School student. “It’s great to see Sailors taking time out of their weekend schedule to come here and help build something that will mean so much for the school and its students.”
Following a presentation, commands and school representatives discussed how they wanted to implement or continue their programs. This project was the first of three scheduled events for 2013.
For Rodriguez, being involved with PECE fulfills her desire to volunteer around the local area.
“This is a great chance to help out our youth. It’s really important to be a part of the community,” said Rodriguez. “This project is going to make kids happy because they’re going to have a new playground.”
PECE began in 1987 and started with seven commands. This year, it has grown to over 30 commands.