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South Korean students mug for the camera during a picnic and festival Friday on Camp Coiner.

South Korean students mug for the camera during a picnic and festival Friday on Camp Coiner. (T.D. Flack / S&S)

CAMP COINER, South Korea — A group of soldiers and the South Korean children they teach took advantage of a sunny Friday afternoon to ditch the books and spend some time outdoors having fun.

The 1st Signal Brigade’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company soldiers volunteer at the Good Neighbor Program center in nearby Yongsan city as part of the brigade’s “agreement of cooperation” with the community, officials said.

Capt. Temarkus Caldwell, company commander, said about half of the 150 soldiers who work for her volunteer at the center. She said family members and Seoul American High School students also help teach English.

One hundred students, 25 parents and five of the program’s South Korean volunteers joined the Americans on Camp Coiner on Friday for the games, food and fun, said Michael Lee, program coordinator for Yongsan city.

Park Jong-dae, director of the city’s resident support program, was on hand to thank the soldiers for their work.

He said Yongsan city Mayor Park Jang-kyu strongly encourages the program.

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