by Mechelle Perrott, Citizenship Instructor
Collaboration with the Midway: Thank You Lunch
Volunteer Appreciation Lunch Aboard the Midway
On Friday, September 9, the USS Midway Museum hosted current CE volunteers and their teachers to a lunch aboard the ship to share success stories of our collaboration of Midway volunteers working in our CE citizenship and ESL classes. After a short program, volunteers were presented with name badges with our school district name and logo and polo shirts with the Midway logo, both gifts to be worn proudly as community volunteers on our campuses this fall. Several of the teachers and volunteers stayed after the program for an introductory tour of the ship and to then explore the Midway Museum.
Starting in the 2015–2016 school year, we connected with the USS Midway Museum to expand the number of community volunteers working in our ESL and citizenship classes. In September 2015, before the collaboration, we had 4 community volunteers in 3 classes at Mid-City. By the end of the spring 2016 semester, we had grown to 25 volunteers assigned to 10 citizenship classes and 4 ESL classes at 5 campuses. This collaboration started in earnest in February 2016 when Dean Barbara Pongsrikul used funds from the WIOA Grant to give Mechelle Perrott non-classroom hours to develop a collaboration with the USS Midway Museum. We developed a program to recruit, train and place community members in our classrooms to tutor individually or in small groups to assist with citizenship exam preparation, job readiness skills, English communication skills, pronunciation practice and reading & writing skills. As of August 2016, we have plans for nearly 20 more USS Midway Museum volunteers for the fall 2016 semester to become citizenship and ESL classroom volunteers which will expand help to students even further.
This collaboration was a result of the October 2015 article in the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper about our small group of community volunteers. After the article was published, lots of people inquired about volunteering in our citizenship program. One person associated with the Midway Museum read the article, became a volunteer and shared with the Midway leadership about the school’s volunteers. The initial email exchange stated that the USS Midway Museum has an active program of 900 volunteers and suggested some of those 900 may want to help in our classrooms, and asked if we would like to meet to discuss the possibility of the museum recruiting and promoting volunteering in our classrooms. We said yes, and that was the start of our successful collaboration!