MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
The Ironmen of Marine Wing Support Squadron 274 adopted the Newport Elementary School and will begin volunteering to help the students and staff with various activities beginning October.
“MWSS-274 and Newport Elementary School were paired together through the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Adopt-a-School program,” said Lt. Cmdr. Richard E. Malmstrom, the organizer of the Adopt-a-School program for MWSS-274 as well as the chaplain for, MWSS-271, 274 and Marine Wing Support Group 27. “We worked through the Cherry Point School Liaison, Donna Bagley. Newport Elementary expressed interest in working with Marines and Sailors of Cherry Point and we contacted her to find a school that needed help.”
Malmstrom said he hopes the students benefit the most from the Marines volunteering but feels everyone will benefit from the adoption.
“We plan to work with the students as mentors through a program called the Lunch Buddy program,” said Malmstrom. “We also want to help those students who are having difficulties in school, chaperone field trips and work on beautification projects around the school grounds.”
Bagley said the program creates a critical link between the air station and the community to make a difference in the lives of children in our community.
“The best part of this partnership will be the opportunity for the Newport Elementary School students to meet and interact with uniformed military personnel on our campus,” said Richard L. Paylor, the assistant principal of Newport Elementary School. “This will foster positive relationships between the Marines and students, help build self-esteem and improve the social skills of the students.”
Paylor said, with budget cuts, the help of the Marines in the classrooms will ultimately benefit the students in this partnership and sends a great message about our military and the Marine Corps.
“The message we hope the community takes away from this is that the Marines and Sailors of Cherry Point care about the community in which we live,” said Malmstrom. “It sends the message that we look after even the smallest members of our community.”
If a squadron would like more information on how to volunteer at a local school, contact Bagley, the School Liaison Officer, at 466-4196 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Through Adopt-a-School activities, our military will gain a feeling of connectedness,” said Bagley. “A sense of accomplishment and pride that goes along with sharing ones knowledge and exposure to possible occupations after retirement or a tour of duty.”