By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jared Aldape, USS Emory S. Land Public Affairs
PITI, Guam (NNS) -- Sailors aboard submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) and USS Frank Cable (AS 40) volunteered as tutors at Jose Rios Middle School in Piti, Guam, May 19.
The project is part of a tutoring program entitled "Saturday Scholars."
The effort gives Sailors a chance to help teachers educate struggling students who require more one-on-one coaching.
Land's command chaplain, Lt. Aaron Roberton, organizes and volunteers for the program, which has been an ongoing partnership with Jose Rios Middle School since 1989.
"The Land is here on a mission to fill in for the Cable, and we're continuing on a project that they have been doing for awhile" said Roberton. "The response has been amazing from both Cable and the Land, we've had more than enough tutors. Sailors have been showing up on a Saturday morning for five weeks, it's been great".
Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Robert Sorogane, who volunteers with Saturday Scholars, said he does it to give something back to the future of Guam.
"Knowing that you have an impact on someone's life is a privilege in itself," said Sorogane. "Sometimes you want to give hope, and leaving your rack, coming to school early on a Saturday morning to lend hope to little kids, to teach them the values of education, it shows a difference in the character that you want to build".
Sorogane said that reaching out to kids through education is another reason for him to volunteer with Saturday Scholars.
"I feel that I've made a difference and have shown these kids that there are people from all over the world that care about them and their education."
Gloria Estampator, a 7th grade science teacher at Jose Rios Middle School, said the aim of the program is to identify students who are struggling halfway through each semester, then work with the students to improve upon their weak areas.
"Over the years, it's become clear what an impact Sailor's mentorship has for the kids," said Estampator. "We take note of the students, and when the fourth quarter comes out, we notice a great percentage of our students are passing. It greatly helps the kids, especially the ones that are below grade level."
Roberton agrees with Estampator, and stresses the importance of the program.
"Some students may not see the importance of a strong educational background for their future now," said Roberton. "But by us being here and showing them that we value their education, that we are committed to helping them learn and grow, and teaching them to put in the extra time to become excellent students, I feel that we're really making a difference and building their future".
Land is currently on an extended deployment to Guam serving as 7th Fleet's lead afloat maintenance activity from the ship's permanent homeport of Diego Garcia.