FORT SILL, Okla., Sept. 7, 2017 -- Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 2nd Air Defense Artillery presented Pioneer Park Elementary School officials in Lawton with more than 400 school supplies, Aug. 14.

The supply drive was part of the battalion's Army Partnership with Local Area Schools (APLAS). The drive started July 28 and was completed Aug. 11.

1st Lt. Gloria Consiglieri, battalion APLAS representative, met with each battery and company representative within the 3-2nd ADA to collect the donations.

"One way we raised awareness for the school supply drive was to host a battalion family run," said 2nd Lt. Brian Franklin, the APLAS representative from B Battery 3-2nd ADA. "Soldiers and families collected school supplies and brought them to our run on August 4th."

Gabe Winn, principal of Pioneer Park Elementary, expressed his appreciation of the Soldiers as well as the APLAS program.

"We have many families who cannot afford to buy school supplies," he said. "This donation will help those students in need of supplies to get a head start."

The school has an enrollment of more than 380 students in pre-kindergarten to fifth grades. The donations given to the school included essential items, such as pencils, paper, notebooks, and backpacks.

Community service remains a focus for the 3-2nd ADA APLAS, now that students have returned for the new school year. In conjunction with the school supply drive, a group of Soldiers visited the school Aug. 9, to assist in the courtyard cleanup effort. The Soldiers cleared trash and raked leaves that accumulated during summer to provide a cleaner outdoor environment for the students.

The donation to the school and the clean up made a profound impact on the faculty and teachers at Pioneer Park Elementary. The school supply donations will help to ease the burden on the students and the teachers, who sometimes have to buy supplies for the classroom. The 3-2nd ADA APLAS effort highlighted the unit's commitment to serving the community and the school.

The battalion's command team -- Lt. Col. Pedro Camacho III and Command Sgt. Maj. Tammy Coleman -- presented Winn a certificate of partnership as a reminder of their commitment of being community partners with the school.