<b> FORT STEWART, GA </b> -- Family members, Soldiers, Department of Defense civilians and the local community swarmed Club Stewart's ballroom during the Fort Stewart Education and Community Fair, July 16. The fair provided a one-stop shop resource for not only new Families to the installation but for many to take advantage of information and services offered by on- and off-post organizations.

"The Education and Community Fair is something that we do annually in July," said David Smith, Youth Education Support Services director. "In addition to pointing new Families in the right direction to agencies available to them on and off post, we help prepare them for school."

The YESS and School Liaison office of the Directorate of Morale, Welfare and Recreation coordinated this year's event. This is the sixth year the fair has been held. Participants received free school supplies donated from Metter Middle School in Metter, Ga., and many other vendors offered free goodies for everyone to take home.

"We have a lot of school systems. We have Fort Stewart Schools, a couple of private schools, the Home School Association and the surrounding area public schools," Smith said. "It gives (Families) the opportunity not only to see what's going on but to be able to talk to those representatives, which is very important. A lot of times they might hear something through a second-hand source; here they can talk directly with those representatives."

While visitors came and went through different booths, door prizes were being announced across the facility's loud speakers.

"This is a pretty good idea, I can hardly carry my bags," said Pfc. Melody Migliatcio, Home Detachment 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team. "It gives the people who live in our community an opportunity to see some of the resources they might not know. I've found it to be very helpful, especially when I visited Army Community Services. I found a lot of information and options for my husband who is non-military."

Page last updated Wed July 23rd, 2008 at 19:21