Fort Jackson officials and educators from around the Midlands gathered March 9 at the NCO Club on post in the first education summit aimed at improving education of military children.

"The Education Summit was held so the Fort Jackson community could come together with Columbia and the surrounding areas so we could have open dialogue and learn from each other with regards to military children and their education," said Sunny Bolton, Fort Jackson's Child, Youth Services coordinator.

Bolton characterized the summit as a "success" and said "work produced from the summit will be used to strengthen collaboration between the Fort Jackson community and Columbia so we can work together to provide the best education and transitions for military students … our military Families will reap the benefits."

Some of those benefits included ways to get educational information into the hands of parents.

Fort Jackson's commander, Maj. Gen. Pete Johnson said he wanted to see the summit find ways to better communicate "how we can organize between school districts … to align resources between schools in such a way that when Families 'Google' Fort Jackson they can see the information they need."

Attendees to the summit broke out into different groups to discuss how to implement school choice for the military child; enable effective transitions for military students; and empowering military parents to make informed educational decisions. All of these areas were to help find pathways to premier partnerships.

One of the premier educational organizations attending the summit was Richland Two School District where Fort Jackson's high school aged students go for their education.

Baron Davis, superintendent for Richland Two, referred to by its faculty as the "premier school district," said his district strives to live a lifestyle seeking to be the tops in everything they do.

"Being premier is being unapologetic, relentless in the pursuit and demonstration of those values," he said.

Davis said teaching children needs to be done by more than just the schools and teachers, but everyone in the community.

"It is not just the responsibility of the school to provide education to the student," Davis added. "Everybody has to have a skin in the game when it comes to educating our children. If it takes a village to raise a child then all the villagers have to be at the table."