Carl Vinson Kicks Off 2008/2009 Hampton Roads School Partnership

Story Number: NNS081003-07Release Date: 10/3/2008 4:12:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Maja A. Dyson, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- While USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Sailors focus on buffering the yarded aircraft carrier back into shape, the crew has still managed to find a moment to support the Hampton Roads community with its 2008/2009 school partnership program.

"Gold Eagle" Sailors have had the opportunity to keep in tune with the school's needs, as this makes the third year in a row crewmembers have participated in the program with two Newport News Middle schools, and the second year with a Virginia Beach Elementary school.

"It has been a privilege to work with the Vinson crew during the past couple of years," said Dr. Victor Guisao, Gildersleeve Middle School's 8th Grade assistant principal. "We look forward to strengthen our partnership even more this year and enhancing the 'kiddies' knowledge about the Navy's mission and lifestyle."

Crew members visited Gildersleeve and Hines Middle schools in September when the school partnership kicked-off, and the Sailors are on schedule to pick up from last year's program with Diamond Springs Elementary School at the end of October.

"The objective of this program is to develop a positive relationship with the local community and to help students better understand Navy life," said Lt. Cmdr. Glenda Jennings Harrison, Carl Vinson's principal assistant chaplain. "We are providing a positive image in talking to the children about our experiences and serving as role models as we emphasize volunteerism and after-school tutoring programs in support of the CNO's diversity message. In light of the crew's involvement with CCMA and many other activities planned, so far we have had a positive amount of support from our Sailors."

More than 12 Sailors have showed their motivation in the two-week time span of jolting the program into gear, and quite a few have demonstrated interest in continuing their volunteerism for upcoming events.

"I enjoyed helping the children and talking with them not only about my experiences, but their own," said Ship's Serviceman 3rd Class Tawana Wright from Vinson's Supply department. "I would definitely like to come back in October to see how the children have progressed since the last time we visited. The attendees have really showed a passion in informing Hampton Roads' citizens that Sailors will still take time to help the future of America."

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