FROM THE SENIOR COMMANDER: Soldiers who are parents mandated to get involved, stay in communication
July 27, 2011
In about a week the summer vacation for our children will end, and most schools in the Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield communities will be back in session. I understand and appreciate the fact that our units, leaders, and Soldiers are all very busy doing the right things to improve our readiness. However, we must recognize the importance of our children’s education and parental involvement.
I cannot stress enough the importance of education of our children. It is the building block of our future, and the school systems are a major link between the military and the community. We owe it to our children and community to support our teachers, schools, and children.
Parental involvement is imperative in ensuring our children understand the importance of education. When parents are involved, they are dialed in to what their kids are doing and how they are responding to the challenges presented to them. When parents are involved, Families are more cohesive and resilient, which increases the likelihood of success for the child. This also helps improve readiness, as our Soldiers are freed from excessive worry or home problems, and they can focus on the mission at hand.
What does this mean for our leaders? We need to ensure that our Soldiers are afforded the opportunity to take their children to school on the first day of school. In fact, I have issued an order directing units to allow Soldiers with school-age children to take them to their first day of school. This day can be a significant emotional event for not only the children but the parents, especially if it is the first day of Kindergarten or the first day in a new school. Every school conducts an Open House. We need to encourage our Soldiers with children to attend this event as well. It provides the opportunity for the parents to meet the teacher and build a relationship to help the child, as well as gain a better understanding of primary education goals for the year.
Additionally, I have directed that parent-teacher conferences are mandatory attendance for the Soldier sponsor throughout the year. Conferences will take precedence over all other scheduled unit events. Essential to this is good communications between the Soldier, the school and the unit to ensure that dates of conferences are planned and well known in advance. Again, the education of our children must be one of our top priorities and our actions must match our words.
I want to thank all of the units and Soldiers that have been participating in school sponsorship and volunteer programs. These activities are also important to the education and development of our children. This is truly amazing work that positively reinforces the relationship between the military and our communities. Keep up the great work!
Rock of the Marne!