(Via Ho’okele News)
Story and photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal
Defense Media Activity— Hawaii
Service members and civilians attended the 13th Joint Venture Education Forum (JVEF) annual meeting held Aug. 28 at the Salvation Army: Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center at Ewa Beach.
The JVEF provides continuous coordination through partnerships and open dialogue in order to promote understanding and inplement initiatives toward the needs of military children and families.
They also facilitate educational support for military-connected public schools within the Hawaii public school system.
Air Force Col. Jaimie Pease, director of manpower and personnel at Headquarters Pacific Command (PACOM), provided opening remarks during the event.
“This year our theme is ‘dedicated partners in education,’” Pease said. “It is that dedication that keeps us united in our common goal of providing the best educational opportunities for our children.”
Dennis Drake, JVEF military co-chair, explained how partnerships have increased within the military and education have increased this year.
“For the last three years, communicating messages to our education community and our military have been really challenging,” Drake said.
“We’re very excited that this year the board recreated the strategic communication and information group. We have all of the services represented: PACOM, Department of Education, schools, principals, administrators, parents, school liaison officers and the Chamber of Commerce,” he said.
Education representatives from the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard and students spoke about the volunteer opportunities that service members and their families are offered in Hawaii to help bolster education quality. The forum was also an opportunity to thank those who had already commited time to volunteer work.
“Today we are here to recognize and thank our volunteer honorees,” Pease said. “These are military men and women who devoted their time and effort to mentor, read to our children, and volunteer in numerous ways to make our schools a better place.”
Air Force Maj. Gen. John Dolan, PACOM chief of staff, and Kathryn Matayoshi, Hawaii Superintendent of Education, presented coins to 11 Airmen, 30 Soldiers, 16 Marines, 44 Sailors and six National Guardsmen who distinguished themselves in their volunteer work toward advancing the education quality in Hawaii.
“The real reward lies in the difference you have made in each of these children’s lives,” Pease said. “When you lead by example, young eyes take notice.”