[from the stabenow.com vaults, 2007]
Pam Dipietro is LTJG Josh Dipietro’s mom. Back in Scotia, New York, Pam teaches a SAIL class. “S.A.I.L. stands for Students Active In Learning,” she says. “It’s a program that our middle school set up to try and help the at risk students before they reach high school and become part of the drop out statistics. I’m their school “mom,” making sure they have what they need to be successful, including motivation, someone to go to bat for them with the teachers, and get their parents involved with their education. I have them for homeroom where I check to make sure their homework is done. During the day I have the kids for tutorial where I help them with their work.”
Josh put Pam’s students in touch with eight crew members on Munro to help with class projects. ENS Gary Kim, ENS Greg Vera, MK3 Derek White, OSC Chief Luke Cutburth, Chief Mickey Bettinger, ENS Dan Schrader and Chief Dale Brown stepped up, along with Josh himself.
She tells me my Munro blog has been useful to her students, too, which pleases me no end. So I wrote and asked for a picture. They sent me this one, and here, in their own words, they’ll tell you which ones they are and a little about themselves.
My name is Savannah. I’m in the back row,the second in from the left. I did my report on Greg Vera. (And he got me a 98 on my project!) I like to read a lot. I mostly read romance novels, and when I’m reading I like to listen to music.
I want to be an English teacher for the 8th grade, to help prepare them for the high school. If I change my mind about what grade I want to teach, I would want to teach the 5th grade.
Hi, my name is Nick. I’m in the back row, second on right (long hair). I will be doing my report on Michael Bettinger. I play bass guitar and I take lessons. I want to play bass for a living when I’m older. Korn and Metallica are my favorite bands and I hate Slipknot.
Hi, my name is Molly. I’m in the front, third from the left, and I will be doing my report on Josh.
I play volleyball, basketball, and I run track. When I’m not busy with sports I like to hang out with my friends or just chill. When I grow up I would like to be a pediatric nurse. I like kids. I work in a daycare with my mom sometimes.
Hi, my name is Kevin. I am sitting down on the bottom right. I did my report on Dan Schrader. I was the first to do my report and got 90%. I like to work on small motors and bikes. I would like to become a machanic. So far I have built a low rider bike and a chopper bike, and am working on a mini chopper with my dad. [And here is a photo of Kevin with his 90 percent project on Dan Schrader.]
Hi, my name is Dawn, and I am sitting down on the bottom left with the black hair and black shirt. I am gothic and I did my report on Dereck White. I like a lot of music, mostly rock, metal, punk, and screamo. My faviorite bands are Slipknot, Breaking Benjamin and Three Days Grace. When I get older, I want to work at Hot Topic, a store with clothes and music and stuff for gothic people.
I’m Eric. I am standing top left. I did my report on Luke Cutburth. I like biking, snowboarding, stick fighting. I want to have a fun job. I’m not sure what that is yet.
I’m Tiffany. I was sitting bottom row, second to the left. My report was on Dale Brown. I got an 88. I like to listening to music, walking around with my friends, and going on the computer. I want to become a photographer. [See photo of Tiffany with her project on Chief Dale Brown. I believe I recognize some of those photos.]
My name is David. I am on the far right in the back row. I did my report on Gary Kim. I like baseball, football and girls. I want to join the military.
And this from some of the participating crew members:
“I have been participating in the Partners in Education program for about the last seven years of my career,” Chief Luke Cutburth says. “I really enjoy getting the word out about the Coast Guard. It is also nice to think you may be a role model for a child rather than some pro ball player. I have been in the Coast Guard for 16 years. I’m an Operational Specialist Chief. On Munro I’m the OS in Charge of the Combat Information Center. I am married to Karla and I have a nine-year old son, Zachary.”
Chief Dale Brown has also worked with kids in the Partners in Education program. “I like to tell them about my adventures in the Coast Guard, as they all seem intrigued by my stories. The person I wrote to has written back to me twice asking to know more. I just hope that it helps her in some way to realize there are bright days in what looks like a bleak future. I have a daughter, Kelly, in college in St Louis, and a son Jason, stationed in Iraq. I have been married to my lovely wife Elaine for 15 years. We are soon heading to Key West for our next transfer to the CGC Thetis.”
ENS Dan Schrader has tutored third through fifth graders at a local elementary school in Michigan in math and science. “The hardest part,” he says, “was keeping them focused on their studies and minimizing the questions about the Coast Guard. It was a nice surprise to hear that someone was interested in doing a presentation on me and my career. I told Kevin all about the various jobs I have had and places I have lived. I also found out he dislikes some of the same subjects that I did when I was his age. I told him to stick with it because it does pay off in the end to study hard. I’m glad my stories helped him to get a good grade on the project!”
“I am in the Main Prop division,” MK3 Dereck White says. “We are responsible for everything inside of the engine room. This includes the main diesel engines, the turbines, the generators, and the evaporator (water distilling plant), where we work in temperatures that sometimes exceed 150 degrees. I have been in the Coast Guard for 5 and a half years. My tour is up on the Munro this summer and I am to transfering to the Coast Guard Cutter Aspen out of San Francisco. It’s a 225′ buoy tender. I am proud to be in the Coast Guard, and if I can change one child’s path by promoting it then I can be happy to say that I did.”
The gentleman who orchestrated all this, LTJG Josh Dipietro, says, “When my mother and I first talked about this I wasn’t sure who would want to participate, but everyone I approached was excited to help. It worked out well because the crew members all had a little connection with the students, as hard as that might be through email. Even though it was more difficult because we were underway, I think the difficulty of communication and remoteness helps to tell the story. One of the things that really helped the students get a picture of our daily life was the blog.
“I of course love participating in this particular project because it is for Mr. Kirwan’s Social Studies class and he was one of my favorite teachers (hope that helps the grade, Molly!). I was excited to be paired up with Molly, her stepbrother is one of my buddies from school. This project was great because it took the combination of interested students, helpful crew members, an excellent and adventurous writer, and one nagging mother to pull off.”
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