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Pattie Phipps, Principal of Shirley Lanham Elementary School at Naval Air Facility Atsugi, talks to volunteers that are in a mentoring program sponsored through the school.

Pattie Phipps, Principal of Shirley Lanham Elementary School at Naval Air Facility Atsugi, talks to volunteers that are in a mentoring program sponsored through the school. (Christopher B. Stoltz / S&S)

NAVAL AIR FACILITY ATSUGI, Japan — Mentoring is a simple concept, but one that can make a big difference in a child’s life, Atsugi base and school officials say.

“How many of us have had our lives touched in some way by a teacher or mentor?” asked Shirley Lanham Elementary School Prinicipal Hattie Phipps during the kickoff of the “Make a Difference in a Life: Mentor” program at the school Thursday. “When you mentor a child, you are saying to them, ‘You are important, and I am not going to give up on you or your life.’”

Phipps awarded several certificates of appreciation to Atsugi- based organizations, including the Fleet and Family Support Center, whose volunteer program has provided mentors for the school. The base’s Customer Service Department and Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Department were lauded for their participation.

Phipps stressed that although many are taking the opportunity to mentor students, the “Make a Difference” program is a way to get more people involved.

“You never know what an impact you can have on another person’s life,” said Janet Jordan, the base’ FFSC director.

People interested in mentoring at the school or volunteering for other projects on NAF Atsugi should e-mail volunteer coordinator Diwata Salomon at diwata.salomon@fe.navy.mil or call DSN 264-4185.

Essay contest seeks submissions

A “Tribute To My Mentor” essay contest is under way at Atsugi. Entries must be 1,000 words or less and be about the importance of mentoring or what lessons or encouragement mentors have shared with the writer.

Submissions are due by Feb. 15 and may be sent to PSC 477 Box 32, FPO AP 96306 or delivered to Atsugi’s Fleet and Family Support Center.


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