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Kadena Airmen tutor students at Amelia Earhart Intermediate School

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Rey Ramon
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs
Kadena Airmen are investing in the future by tutoring students at Amelia Earhart Intermediate School.

The Department of Defense Education Activity asked schools in the Pacific region to develop a plan to help "at-risk" students succeed academically. The staff at DODEA decided to use its strong partnership with the military to help mentor the students.

The "At Risk" program was established in December 2008 to help students with below average scores on the Terra Nova achievement tests, which are designed to assess students from kindergarten through 12th grade in reading, language arts, mathematics, science, vocabulary, spelling and other areas. The students receive tutoring two hours a week, before and after school.

"We're focusing on this group to provide them that extra help they need," said Bill Mierzejewski, Amelia Earhart assistant principal, "and hopefully through that help, they will increase their scores."

Tutors play a vital role in filling the gap between teacher and student and give the students the confidence they need to do well on tests, he added. 

"It helps to have a different learning aspect for the students to help them understand their work better," said Tech. Sgt. Sharon Barber, 390th Intelligence Squadron command language program manager. 

"We see the folks in uniform and we know they have other jobs, other responsibilities," said Thomas Thomson, AEIS teacher. "We all finish in front when they take time out of their busy schedule to get involved with the school." 

So far, the program has received positive reviews and other parents are requesting the service for their children. Mr. Mierzejewski believes the program will be able to provide enough tutors when the new school year starts in the fall.

"The interaction we have between the school and the community is a huge benefit," said the assistant principal, "and the more we can foster that interaction, the more the community understands what happens here."

"Here we set a foundation for every student in preparation for the future," he added.