Coast Guard, Air Force unite for Great American Teach-In at Pinellas County schools

Service members stationed at and around Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg and MacDill Air Force Base take a moment for group photo Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017 at the Cross Bayou Elementary School during the fourth annual Great American Teach-In – Tour Across Pinellas. The Great American Teach-In is part of Pinellas County Schools’ annual education week celebration, and it was created to introduce students to career options they might never considered. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Michael De Nyse)

Service members take a moment for group photo Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017 at the Cross Bayou Elementary School during the fourth annual Great American Teach-In – Tour Across Pinellas.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Michael De Nyse)

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. — Service members stationed at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg and MacDill Air Force Base spoke at numerous Pinellas County schools Wednesday as part of the fourth annual Great American Teach-In – Tour Across Pinellas.

The Great American Teach-In is part of Pinellas County Schools’ annual education week celebration, and it was created to introduce students to various career options. Pinellas County invited service members to their schools to share stories and stress the importance of education with the students.

“This is my third time participating in the Great American Teach-In,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Walker, stationed at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg. “I love getting out to the Pinellas county schools and talking about my experiences in the Coast Guard. It is important to relate to kids of all ages and backgrounds.”

The event took place throughout the day as service members traveled to seven different schools, visited 70 classrooms, and reached out to more than 1,700 students.

“It made me very happy to see the Coast Guard and Air Force visit us at school today,” said Ja-Karla White, a second-grader at the Cross Bayou Elementary School in Pinellas Park.

The service members were given the opportunity to share stories with the students about their career, experiences and community involvement. They also answered questions from the students about life as a military member.

“As an Air Force reservist, The Great American Teach-In is a great opportunity to give back to the community and the young leaders of tomorrow,” said Tech. Sgt. Adam C. Borgman, a public affairs journeyman at the 927th Air Refueling Wing, MacDill Air Force Base. “We have reached nearly 10,000 students at 50 schools over the four years we’ve participated in this event.”

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