FORT CARSON, Colorado - With the end of the 2017-2018 school year, the Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment "Straight and Stalwart," 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division are already planning and preparing for another year of partnership activities with Weikel Elementary School here.

The battalion paired with the elementary school as part of the Fort Carson School Sponsorship Program in February 2018.

The Soldiers of 1st Bn., 41st Inf. Reg. support the school by assisting the staff during events including holiday parties, fun runs, school dances and field days.

"What both Soldiers and kids gain from this partnership is immeasurable," said Lt. Col. Jerem Swenddal, commander for 1st Bn., 41st Inf. Reg., 2nd IBCT. "Our Soldiers have the opportunity to serve as role models and impact the lives of these kids in a positive way."

Even with the deployment of the majority of the battalion to Afghanistan earlier this year, the relationship between the school and unit has not decreased.

The Soldiers who stayed on Fort Carson have engaged with the students of the school during lunch and recess to include recently participating in the school's celebration of Dr. Seuss's birthday.

"When our Soldiers give their time and attention, it lets the kids know they are important and that their community cares about them," said Swenddal. "We are proud of our Soldiers and of the partnership they have developed with Weikel."

For the past several months, the students of Weikel Elementary and deployed Soldiers of the battalion have exchanged letters and pictures.

"It's important to maintain the relationship the students and Soldiers have established over the past few months," said Misty DeHerrera, principal for Weikel Elementary. "Fort Carson is the best hometown in the Army (and) their efforts really help build that Family feel (here)."

According to leaders in the battalion, they plan to kick off their new school year of partnership by having Soldiers at the school entrance to welcome students on their first day of school.