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Partnership in Education Program

 Established in 1991, the Partnership In Education (PIE) program allows members of the Coast Guard to provide volunteer support to hundreds of partner schools (elementary, middle, and high schools   as well as colleges) and work directly with tens of thousands of students on a range of activities that promote the well-being and academic achievement of students, including in underserved   communities.

The PIE Program benefits everyone involved. Students learn about civic responsibility, applications of academic disciplines, and different career opportunities. Coast Guard members further serve as positive role models and mentors in communities where they live and work. Teachers, schools, and communities receive support in developing our nation’s future civilian and military workforce and leaders.

PIE Program activities include:

  • Reading to elementary school children.
  • Providing instructional support on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects such as marine science, engineering, and mathematics.
  • Supporting students in extracurricular clubs and events such as science fairs, computer literacy programs, and robotics competitions.
  • Hosting interactive educational field trips to Coast Guard Stations.
  • Actively participating in school celebrations and events.
  • Delivering presentations regarding civic responsibility and military life.
  • Helping coach youth sports.
  • Engaging students in school clean-up, gardening, and other beautification projects.
  • Participating in school coat, backpack, and school supplies drives.
  • Tutoring and mentoring students.
  • Participating in career days.
  • Providing students with job shadowing experiences.

If you are a teacher, school administrator, or a member of the Coast Guard Family (active duty, reserve, auxiliary, civilian or retired) interested in participating in the PIE Program, please contact your local PIE Program Coordinator or the National PIE Program Manager at  Edward.A.Stoker@uscg.mil. The Coast Guard has hundreds of units across the country that are actively engaged in their community providing advisory, instructional support, enrichment, and extended services to schools through the PIE Program.

Join the Teams PIE Hub to connect with other coordinators and volunteers! (CAC Required)

 

PIE Program History

In 1983-84, a National Year of Partnerships in Education was implemented under Presidential Proclamation 5112. The Proclamation stated that America’s future is dependent on the “health and vitality” of our education system and called upon all Americans and U.S. Agencies to become active in developing and maintaining partnerships with schools and communities to improve education and the quality of learning.

The Proclamation evolved into the National and Community Services Act of 1990 which requires each Federal agency to execute a comprehensive strategy to involve employees in elementary and secondary schools to foster civic responsibility. Through active participation in school-based partnership programs, volunteers develop and help students in organized, service-learning activities to meet the needs of the school and the community.

Further authority for the PIE Program is found in 29 C.F.R. § 1614.102(a)(13), which directs each federal agency to proactively engage with schools and universities to improve opportunities for federal employment and to help enhance local community conditions that may affect employability.

PIE Awards

The PIE Awards are an annual recognition where six awards are presented to recognize outstanding Coast Guard units and individuals who participate at the community level with other employers and schools to improve the academic and employment outlook for youth. Awards are given to both large (100 or more personnel) and small (less than 100 personnel) units. All units with active PIE programs are encouraged to submit nominations. The PIE award categories are as follows:

Best Unit Partnership (Two Awards: Large and Small). Units that worked independently with one or more schools.

Best Collaborative Partnership (Two Awards: Large and Small). Units that worked with one or more volunteer organizations
(businesses, community-based organizations, or other units) to support one or more schools.

Sustained Excellence in Coast Guard PIE (One award). A unit or individual (volunteer, coordinator, or leader) with at least three
years of consecutive involvement in PIE programs.

PIE Coordinator of the Year (One award). A PIE Coordinator who established, sustained, or expanded high quality education
partnerships.

 

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2023 Coast Guard Partnership in Education Awards

 

Best Unit Partnership (Up to 100 Personnel): Awarded to a unit with less than 100 personnel for their work with one or more schools during the previous program year.

Coast Guard Cutter Sycamore (WLB 209), Newport, RI

CDR Chad M. Conrad, Commanding Officer; ET1 Andrew Reese, PIE Coordinator

Fourteen Coast Guard members volunteered 300 hours to support an elementary school, including a toy drive, student mentoring, and tutoring math to enhance the well-being and academic achievements of 740 students. The Coast Guard volunteers also collaborated with the local police department and the local Coast Guard recruiting office to raise awareness about Coast Guard career opportunities.

 

ET2 Brendan Blish and LTJG Veronica Hine each hold a plush animal when CGC SYCAMORE assisted Clairborne Pell Elementary School in a toy drive during the holiday season. Photo by ENS Elizabeth Carter.

 

Best Unit Partnership (More than 100 Personnel): Awarded to a unit with more than 100 personnel for their work with one or more schools during the previous program year.

Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber and Intelligence Service Center (C5ISC), Kearneysville, WV

CAPT Kevin M. Carroll, Commanding Officer; LTJG Kathryn S. Rubio, PIE Coordinator

Sixty Coast Guard members volunteered 582 hours across seven elementary schools, four high schools, and four community-based organizations at 56 distinct school and community events. These activities included a Thanksgiving food drive, a snack drive, TEDdy talks, a Holiday Angel Tree, county-wide high school mock interviews, and more. Their efforts reached 4,300 students, particularly in underserved communities. To bolster recruitment through initiatives like the Everyone is a Recruiter (EIAR) and Scout Talent and Refer (STAR) programs, C5ISC expanded education partnerships by adding four high schools for the 2023-2024 program year. C5ISC also expanded partnerships to include Warrior GMR and Escape Velocity Academy to help deliver STEM information and activities to over 1,000 youth at the annual Sea, Air & Space Youth Expo hosted by the Navy League.

LT Michael Conell, LTJG Kathryn Rubio, IT2 Graham Benham, LT Ievgen Stepanchuk, and LT Benjamin Greene, Coast Guard PIE volunteers, stand by their booth at the 2023 Annual Sea Air Space Youth STEM Expo. Photo by Mr. Topaz Navarro.

 

Best Collaborative Unit (Up to 100 Personnel): Awarded to a unit for their work with one or more other entities (businesses, community-based organizations, or other CG Units) to support one or more schools during the previous program year.

Force Readiness Command (FC-C), Norfolk, VA

RDML Jeffrey K. Randall, Commanding Officer; LTJG Kelly Kuong, PIE Coordinator.

Twelve tenant commands in Norfolk Main Street Tower (MST), USCG Station Little Creek, and Force Readiness Command (FORCECOM) reinvigorated the area PIE program in 2022 to engage their community and its youth. During the 2022-2023 school year, thirty Coast Guard members volunteered to support several community-based organizations, elementary schools, and an early childhood center through donation drives, career days, field days, and fitness and mentorship programs, impacting 200 preschool and 1,000 elementary school students. The PIE team collaborated with the Society of American Military Engineers to present at the Norfolk Public Schools Community Engagement Council meeting, which opened the door to more volunteer opportunities and collaborative partners and led to six local elementary schools requesting Coast Guard partnerships.

LTJG Kelly Kuong and CWO2 Melinda Skinner stand behind their career day booth at Oceanair Elementary School's Career Day. Courtesy Photo

 

Best Collaborative Unit (More than 100 Personnel): Awarded to a unit with more than 100 personnel for work with one or more other entities (businesses, community-based organizations, or other CG Units) to support one or more schools during the previous program year.

Sector New Orleans, New Orleans, LA

CAPT Kelly K. Denning, Commanding Officer; LTJG M. Riley Steinbrenner, PIE Coordinator

In 2022, the Louisiana State Legislature passed the Riley Bourgeois Act, which prompted Sector New Orleans to focus its PIE efforts on water safety education to align with the new requirements of the State. During the 2022-2023 PIE Program year, 32 Coast Guard members volunteered 240 hours delivering water safety education to 880 students in just one Louisiana parish school system. This partnership was made possible through the establishment of standard operating procedures and effective coordination efforts, which engaged smaller units with limited crews and competing operational priorities. The participating units included Station New Orleans, ANT New Orleans, ANT Venice, MSST New Orleans, Base New Orleans, Gulf Regional Fisheries Training Center, CGC AXE, CGC PAMLICO, and the MC-20 Incident Management Team. For the 2023-2024 PIE Program year, the Sector plans to continue to engage smaller Coast Guard units and offer its curriculum to students in an adjacent school system.

YN2 Peter Plummer, YN3 Christopher Gross, and MST3 Jacob Geary visit Ruppel Academie Francaise in Gretna, LA. to teach the students how to properly don a life jacket. Photo by Lt. Juston Lee

 

Sustained Excellence: Awarded to a CG Unit or individual (volunteer, coordinator, and/or leader) during at least three consecutive program years.

Sector Houston – Galveston, Houston, TX

CAPT Keith M Donohue, Commanding Officer; LTJG David S. Strayer, PIE Coordinator

Sector Houston-Galveston leadership invested significantly in its Partnership in Education (PIE) Program. In 2020, the Sector began to expand its network by engaging with local Independent School Districts (ISDs). Specifically, it signed a Memorandum of Agreement and formalized a partnership with the Houston ISD. In addition, Sector Houston collaborated with the CG JROTC Program and Houston ISD’s JROTC program, hoping to establish the first CG JROTC program in the Gulf. Sector Houston also fortified its involvement with the Port Houston Partners in Maritime Education (PHPME), which focuses on preparing the next generation of mariners to fill vital positions in the maritime industry. PHPME supports seven Maritime High School programs, Texas Southern University, and San Jacinto Maritime College. As a central node for PIE efforts in the area, Sector Houston coordinated CG aircraft, small boats, and personnel from 15 Coast Guard units, the Auxiliary, Recruiting Office Houston, and the local Coast Guard Academy Admissions Partner. Over the last three years, Sector Houston executed a wide range of educational activities focused on students, including tours of CG facilities, intervention workshops, career presentations, and multiple school and community events.  Notable events coordinated by Sector Houston include a 'Coast Guard Maritime Rally;' a ‘Coast Guard Day’ at an elementary school, the Science and Engineering Fair of Houston, the Maritime & Logistics Youth Expo, and the Houston ISD JROTC Summer Camp.  In total, Sector Houston dedicated 1,656 volunteer hours and reached over 4,700 students, significantly enhancing educational impact, Coast Guard presence, and recruiting efforts in the Nation's fourth-largest city.

A Base Galveston member assisting a JROTC student from Yates High School donning firefighting equipment during the school's field trip on base, April 20, 2023. Photo by PA1 Corinne Zilnicki.

 

PIE Coordinator of the Year: Awarded to an individual for their work establishing, sustaining, or expanding high-quality education partnerships during the previous program year.

LTJG Madison C. Quinn

Sector Long Island Sound, New Haven, CT

CAPT Elisa M. Garrity, Commanding Officer

LTJG Quinn spearheaded the participation of 102 Coast Guard members who volunteered 427 hours across 18 events to enhance educational opportunities for 3,450 students from 12 schools (pre-K to college) in Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts. Coast Guard members contributed as science fair judges, guest readers, special lesson instructors, career day speakers, field trip presenters, and participants in end-of-school-year festivities. LTJG Quinn collaborated with Sector, Station New Haven, ANT Long Island Sound, ESD New Haven, and the Hartford Recruiting Office to plan the Sector’s second consecutive PIE Field Trip. A standout moment for many of the kids was the Coast Guard helicopter landing on the unit parade field. Additionally, LTJG Quinn helped promote and raise awareness about the PIE program at other units, including MSD Coram, which helped bridge outreach and communication gaps and provided opportunities for all units on Long Island, NY, an avenue to participate in PIE events.

Lt. j.g Madison Quinn, 2023 PIE Coordinator of the Year

 

2023 PIE Award Honorable Mentions

AIRSTATION MIAMI 

AVIATION TRAINING CENTER 

BASE HONOLULU 

CGC HOLLYHOCK 

CYBER COMMAND 

MSU LAKE CHARLES 

MSU PORT ARTHUR 

MSU TEXAS CITY 

SECTOR NEW ORLEANS 

SECTOR VIRGINIA