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Six-year-old Ken Stone listens as Petty Officer 2nd Class Duran Garcia describes the colors the two could use to paint their papier-mache pinata Thursday at the AmerAsian School in Ginowan City. Garcia and other sailors with from Commander Fleet Activity Okinawa volunteer once or twice a week during the school's summer program.
Six-year-old Ken Stone listens as Petty Officer 2nd Class Duran Garcia describes the colors the two could use to paint their papier-mache pinata Thursday at the AmerAsian School in Ginowan City. Garcia and other sailors with from Commander Fleet Activity Okinawa volunteer once or twice a week during the school's summer program. (Cindy Fisher / S&S)
Six-year-old Ken Stone listens as Petty Officer 2nd Class Duran Garcia describes the colors the two could use to paint their papier-mache pinata Thursday at the AmerAsian School in Ginowan City. Garcia and other sailors with from Commander Fleet Activity Okinawa volunteer once or twice a week during the school's summer program.
Six-year-old Ken Stone listens as Petty Officer 2nd Class Duran Garcia describes the colors the two could use to paint their papier-mache pinata Thursday at the AmerAsian School in Ginowan City. Garcia and other sailors with from Commander Fleet Activity Okinawa volunteer once or twice a week during the school's summer program. (Cindy Fisher / S&S)
Master Chief Petty Officer Terry Woodcock, of Commander Fleet Activities Okinawa, teaches a student the basics of playing the piano Thursday at the AmerAsian School.
Master Chief Petty Officer Terry Woodcock, of Commander Fleet Activities Okinawa, teaches a student the basics of playing the piano Thursday at the AmerAsian School. (Cindy Fisher / S&S)

GINOWAN, Okinawa — Hip-hop dancing, piano lessons, papier-mache and English are just some of the skills sailors have taught students at the AmerAsian School in Ginowan this summer.

Okinawa-based sailors have been volunteering once or twice a week during the school’s summer program, said Kasumi Sakaida, the community relations specialist for Commander, Fleet Activities Okinawa who schedules the volunteers.

The sailors’ presence at the school is very important, said Midori Thayer, the school’s educational program manager, on Thursday.

The school caters to children of American fathers and Japanese mothers. In some cases, the fathers are no longer on the island, “so it’s good to have the servicemembers come in and provide male role models,” Thayer said.

It’s good for the children, and it’s good for servicemembers, too, Master Chief Petty Officer Terry Woodcock said Thursday, while volunteering at the school.

“I’ve always encouraged my sailors to get involved in the community,” he said. “It not only fosters good community relations, you get a sense of satisfaction to be able to give back to others.”

Every little bit counts, he said.

“Servicemembers need to get out and participate in the community, even if it’s just picking up in the park,” he said.

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