PEARL CITY, Hawaii (NNS) -- Commander, Navy Region Hawaii (CNRH) began a new partnership with Pearl City Elementary School in Pearl City, Hawaii, Dec. 13 as part of a school partnership program (SPP).
The SPP is a community outreach initiative that partners a Navy command with a local public school.
The purpose of the partnership is to enhance the educational experience for all students and to give Sailors an opportunity to give back to the community.
"We are very happy to be here," said CNRH Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Marc Sibal. "This is going to be a start of a very good partnership between the Navy and Pearl City Elementary School. We have a lot of plans, and we are going to have a good year together."
While on campus, Sibal, Yeoman 1st Class (SW) Phillip Harper and Master-at-Arms 1st Class Evette McDowald presented a certificate of partnership on behalf of Rear Adm. Dixon Smith, CNRH and commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, to the school to affirm the command's commitment to the school's 546 students.
Throughout the school year, the command point of contact (POC) for each partnership maintains communication with their partnered school to schedule volunteer activities. McDowald is the command's POC for the partnership with Pearl City Elementary.
"We want to first find out how the students are doing in math and English, if they are struggling and if they need more tutoring," said McDowald. "We can have the Sailors come over to help them and bring up their grades."
McDowald said she will be planning several activities and interactions with the school, including physical education, assistance to the hearing impaired and school beautification. She said she will also organize school trips to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and Pearl Harbor-based Navy ships.
"We want to get closer to the students, teachers and the teacher's aide so that we can be all of one accord," said McDowald. "Not only do they have regular students, they have Navy kids going here as well."
According to Liz Gocong, school liaison for CNRH, 36 percent of the students attending Pearl City Elementary belong to military families.
The SPP was created in the 1980s to build a stable and consistent relationship between school and military communities. Currently, the Joint Venture Education Forum (JVEF) allots $5,000 for each military-impacted school to fund projects. The SPP and JVEF have helped more than 100 public schools receive much-needed supplies and manpower.
For more information on SPP and how to involve your command in the program, contact Gocong at (808) 474-1999, ext. 6228.
For more news from Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnrh/.