Make a difference – be a school mentor

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Mary Davis
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
Children are the future - that's why mentoring students in need of academic assistance is so important. 

In the past, Team Vance members volunteered their time at Enid Public Schools, and they helped students tremendously, Beverly James, Adams Elementary School principal said. 

"Our students benefited in several ways," said the 27-year educator. "We noticed an increased confidence level, improved grades and an eagerness to learn." 

Members of the 71st Mission Support Squadron stepped up to help students at Adams last year, Staff Sgt. Patricia Phillips, NCO in charge of personnel employment said. 

"We chose Adams because they needed the most help," the El Paso, Texas, native said. "About nine mentors were assigned to students, while others volunteered on Saturdays to help with math and reading." 

71st MSS volunteers participated in the "Adams Saturday Coffee Club" last year. The program provided third, fourth and fifth graders help in four areas:
Computer lab
Guided reading
Study skills 

The program lasted two hours with children rotating to a different area every 30 minutes. 

"The volunteers provided refreshments (donuts and hot chocolate), set up the rooms and tutored the children," Mrs. James said. "The children began looking forward to Saturdays and their time with the Vance volunteers." 

The volunteers looked forward to spending time with the students too, Sergeant Phillips said. 

"The children don't see military people very often, so they would ask us lots of questions," she said. "It was a good feeling knowing you made a difference in their lives." 

People or units interested in volunteering in Enid Public Schools can contact the Terri Presa, Vance volunteer coordinator at 213-7120.