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Team Andersen takes part in GovGuam's Adopt-A-School

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Marianique Santos
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Team Andersen Units have partnered up with GovGuam and local agencies to conduct school clean ups for the Adopt-A-School program during the month of August.

The Adopt-A-School program is a GovGuam project where groups or individuals volunteer their time to clean and improve school ground, getting the campuses ready for the upcoming school year.

"I've never really painted a school before and it's actually fun," said Senior Airman Javon Shipman, 644th Combat Communication Squadron cyber surety journeyman. "It's something different. Everybody on base should get involved."

The 36th MRS and 644th CBCS recently hosted school clean ups for Francisco B. Leon Guerrero middle school and Daniel L. Perez elementary school, respectively.

"The request for volunteers came down base wide from first sergeants for the Adopt-a-school program," Staff Sgt. Jessica Harbison, 644th CBCS air control noncommissioned officer in charge. "We thought it was a great opportunity, so we submitted a form to get a school. The 644th CBCS and Guam Memorial Hospital got D.L. Perez."

Organizations that volunteer meet at the school and discuss what needs to be done. Some spread the word through their networks to get more volunteers to help out with the project.

"We linked up and had a meeting, then spread the word out," said Sergeant Harbison.

"We got people from 36th Civil Engineer Squadron, Andersen First Four and other units, which made this a 36th Wing involvement."

Volunteers clean the campus, paint outside walls and conduct overall school beautification.

"It's amazing what small cans of paint and 20 to 25 volunteers can do," said Tech. Sgt. Ryan Moriarty, 36th Mobility Response Squadron crew chief. "In the four hours that we were there, we changed the face of the school with simple modifications."

"There is a big military presence on the island," he added. "It's part of our responsibility to aid and support the local communities."

Volunteers for the Adopt-A-School program had the opportunity to work with the school staff and volunteers from local organizations, such as Harvest Baptist Ministry in Guam.
"The school staff gave us food and they were absolutely gracious and accommodating.

"We were eager to help, especially when we saw how happy they were that we were there to assist them," said Sergeant Moriarty.

Elizabeth Blas, D.L. Perez elementary school's administrative assistant, said it is important that the children have a good learning environment and the volunteers for the Adopt-A-School program provide that for them.

"It is nice for our students to have beautiful classroom and hallways," said Ms. Blas. "It makes them more enthusiastic about learning and more inclined to take care of their school."

The schools' personnel are thankful for the volunteer turnout and their hard work.

"They didn't take breaks; they'll grab water then go back to their work," said Ms. Blas. "They all worked hard."

The Adopt-A-School program does not only benefit the students in the upcoming school year, but also the people who volunteered to help out. In doing so, Airmen have the opportunity to interact and foster friendly relationships with the local community.

"It's good to have the military work together with GovGuam agencies, it builds a stronger bond in the community," said Ms. Blas. "When working toward a common goal, in this case getting the school ready, communication goes smoothly and it turns into a good interactive environment between the military and the community."