JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- (Sept. 23, 2016) Nine Soldiers from the 412th Contracting Support Brigade spent their morning Sept. 23 supporting a local elementary as part of the unit's adopt-a-school program.

Soldiers spent their morning at Lamar Elementary in San Antonio where they helped assemble swing sets and built additional garden beds in front of the school.

Lamar Elementary is a public school for grades kindergarten through fifth grade located about a half a mile away from JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Brian Sparks, the Lamar Elementary principal, said it is through partnership efforts like this that the school is able to provide its students a broader perspective.

"Many of our students are first-generation Americans who are not exposed to many people from different walks of life, so seeing military personnel here is a new thing for many of them. It's important to have that broad exposure to understand that they have a lot of possibilities in life," Sparks said. "For our kids and for us, the military personnel who volunteer at the campus are so selfless and unassuming. They ask for nothing back, and all we can offer is a thank you. It's really impressive to see for our kids."

Col. Dennis McGowan, commander of the 412th CSB, said members of the brigade actively participate in their partner school each month.

"It's important that these students have positive role models and see people from various communities. That's what we provide," McGowan said. "Not only in doing things like this but by eating lunch or spending time with them on the playground, they remember. It's rewarding for us, too, because these kids glow when you talk to them. It's a positive part of our week."

The adopt-a-school program is an initiative that partners JBSA-Fort Sam Houston units with area schools where Soldiers volunteer their time through a variety of efforts to include mentoring students and upgrading facilities.

The 412th CSB, a subordinate unit to the Mission and Installation Contracting Command, provides contracting support for the U.S. Army North, defense support to civil authorities as well as Army Reserve Command chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear response missions in the continental United States.