News: Coast Guard Sector Anchorage, College Gate Elementary kick off Partnership in Education program
Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Shawn Eggert
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Coast Guard Sector Anchorage and College Gate Elementary School agreed to conduct a Partnership In Education program throughout the 2014-2015 school year Wednesday.
Partnership in Education is a Coast Guard program, which began in 1990 under the umbrella of the National and Community Service Act. Since then, Coast Guard personnel involved with the program have been actively involved in making a positive impact on their community's youth.
Adm. J. William Kime, the Coast Guard's commandant from 1991-1994, and every commandant since, have provided Coast Guard men and women with a chance to volunteer and help school children in need. The Coast Guard's Partnership in Education program allows its active duty and civilian employees to use an hour a week to volunteer at schools in their area. Since 1991, PIE has introduced students to positive role models while providing educational support through tutoring, teacher assistance and lecturing.
"Regardless of the mission, people who join the Coast Guard want to make a difference in peoples’ lives," said Capt. Paul Mehler III, commanding officer Sector Anchorage and PIE volunteer. "That includes making a difference in the lives of our youth."
The PIE program helps enhance educational opportunities for students while working to enforce traditional values, personal initiative, responsibility, individual self-worth and scholarship.
“The Coast Guard mentors will work with their assigned student’s teacher to focus on areas where that student may need more support,” said Lt. Ryan Butler, who reached out to College Park to initiate the program. “Some days they may work on math, others they may just eat lunch together. It could be as simple as kicking the soccer ball around one day.”
The Coast Guard mentors will be assigned a student at the start of the school year, and they will strive to prepare those students to become good citizens, who will make significant contributions to the communities in which they live.
“Our school has a number of students who would really benefit from this kind of support and mentorship” said Darrell Berntsen, principal at College Gate Elementary. “Just the presence of the uniform makes a big impact on the students. We’re really excited to work with the Coast Guard to help brighten our students’ lives in this unique way.”
To learn more about PIE, please visit the Coast Guard Office of Civil Rights Web page at http://goo.gl/5LQNvf.
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