Camp Zama schools reaffirm commitments with military units
CAMP ZAMA - U.S. Army Japan senior leaders and U.S. Army Garrison Japan school administrators reaffirmed their unit-school commitments to the USAG Japan Adopt-a-School Program by signing charters Nov. 24 at the Camp Zama Community Club.
The Adopt-a-School Program agreements were renewed for another two years between the Army Medical Department and Zama American High School; 35th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion and Zama American Middle School; and 78th Signal Battalion and John O. Arnn Elementary School.
"Soldiers need to know their efforts are needed to support our students and students need to know the Soldiers are here to support them," said Robert Chance, school liaison with Camp Zama's Child, Youth and School Services.
Chance said the program establishes and maintains a cooperative effort between USAG Japan and Department of Defense Education Activity, focusing on the unit-school partnership, a tutor program and leadership program to improve the citizenship and learning experiences of children in USAG Japan's elementary, middle and high schools.
"We're all here on a military base overseas and it takes us working together as a team to make sure the quality of life is good for all us," said Chance.
Under the charter, the sponsoring units agreed to several responsibilities such as visiting the school regularly, providing mentor/tutor volunteers and coordinating on-post activities.
"It's really great to show our unit's commitment to the education system here in the Camp Zama community," said Lt. Col. Thaddeus Underwood, commander of 78th Signal Battalion.
The adopted schools also agreed to responsibilities such as providing guidance for establishing mentors/tutors; locations, instructional supplies and materials for mentoring/tutoring; and supervision of students during school-based, partnership projects and activities.
"Being part of this military community, it makes sense that we have partnered with the active duty and that they are a formal part of our schools," said Louis D'angelo, Ed.D., principal of Zama American Middle School.
Shana Seawright, assistant principal of Zama American High School, said Soldiers from AMMED have participated in career fairs; provided chaperones at school dances; and supported homecoming and other extracurricular activities at ZAHS.
"It feels good to have this type of partnership with the high school to support the students," said Sgt. Maj. Carlisie Jones, chief medical noncommissioned officer assigned to U.S. Army Medical Department Activities-Japan.
"We're just returning back to them what we Soldiers want, and receive, when we're away from home," said Jones.