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Airmen help local school during move

Volunteers from the 45th Space Wing with faculty members from the Space Coast Early Intervention Center during the Center's recent move. (Courtesy photo)

Volunteers from the 45th Space Wing with faculty members from the Space Coast Early Intervention Center during the Center's recent move. (Courtesy photo)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Sometimes Sharks can help the smallest fish.

Recently members of the 5th and 1st Space Launch Squadrons helped the Space Coast Early Intervention Center (SCEIC) move to a new facility in Melbourne.

SCEIC is non-profit preschool designed specifically to support young children challenged with disabilities. Their program consists of placing role models into the same classroom in a 50/50 blend to further develop assistive technology, early literacy, and socialization skills.

Maj. Eric Amissah of the 5th Space Launch Squadron first heard about the school from a contractor at Cape Canaveral. "After visiting the school's Web site, I knew it was a great program and the fact that they were non-profit made it even more of a worthy cause to get involved in," he said.

When Major Amissah found out that the school was moving to a new location, he knew he would need more help. While the school made the final arrangements for the new building, he lined up more volunteers from the launch squadrons.

Finally on January 18, the move started. A moving van was rented to move desks and other large furniture and after it was unloaded, volunteers used their own vehicles to move chairs and teacher supplies. School was still in session during the move, so one classroom at a time had to be emptied and transferred to the new building. The whole process took eight hours.

"[The] team helped streamline moving our classrooms from our old building to our new one," said SCEIC Program Director Jamie Barr. Of Major Amissah she said, "We were in need of trucks, and strong volunteers and he brought both."

Thanks to the volunteers' help, the school's 80-plus students and 31 teachers were able to start classes the next week on schedule.

"It is always a good thing when we can get out in the community and give back for all of the support we receive," said Maj. Amissah. "With great team work anything is possible and we really enjoyed meeting the children and the teachers, even though they thought we were the Army."

Besides Major Amissah, the following people helped with the move: Capt. Steve Engler, Master Sgt. Scotty Willis and Staff Sgt. Leigh-ton Hammond from the 5th SLS; Maj. Tim Spies, Tech. Sgt. James Giles, Tech. Sgt. James Fultz, Tech. Sgt. Rian Byungho and Tech. Sgt. Rob Englert from the 1st SLS.

(Information for this story was provided by Master Sgt. Phil Lemaitre, 5th SLS.)