FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – School children and teachers weren’t the only ones headed back to class recently. Soldiers and civilians from Blanchfield Army Community Hospital volunteered at Clarksville, Tennessee’s Northeast Middle School, recently as part of the Partners in Education initiative.
The PIE program is a way for units on Fort Campbell to integrate into the community by way of volunteering with on-post and off-post schools.
“The recent PIE event was a ‘Back to School Bash.’ There were many community and school organizations there. Students and parents were able to come out and obtain information and have fun together before school starts,” said Staff Sgt. Sierra Brown, BACH’s PIE Coordinator and non-commissioned officer in charge of the hospital’s Post Anesthesia Care Unit.
BACH PIE volunteers set up a table and made a connection with students through board games. As they played, the students spoke with BACH volunteers about the upcoming school year.
“Some students starting sixth grade talked about being nervous going into the new school and others talked about what they wanted to study when they go to college,” said Brown.
BACH has a history partnering with Northeast Middle School to support educational and extracurricular activities.
In 2018, hospital staff brought one Northeast Middle School classroom’s story book character, Flat Stanley, to BACH over the winter break to learn about the hospital.
Updates were posted over the break on BACH’s social media accounts using the hashtag #BACHStanley, so students could follow along as staff from different sections in the hospital taught Stanley about their individual career fields in healthcare and educational background.
Other staff included photos and letters from their holiday leave destinations so the students could learn more about the world. After the students returned from winter break, PIE volunteers from the hospital presented the class with a collection of photos and letters chronicling Stanley’s adventures.
That year, BACH was awarded the Boots on the Ground Award during the annual Clarksville-Montgomery County School System and Clarksville Area Chamber of Commerce PIE appreciation breakfast.
Volunteer activities were curtailed during the pandemic but Brown, who recently volunteered to serve as the hospital’s PIE coordinator said she is ready and excited for the new school year, which will include a return of “BACH Stanley,” as he was dubbed by staff.
“In the upcoming year we have more events to come that will be school wide and we welcome BACH Soldiers, civilians employees and family members to participate. There will be school plays, field days, classroom assistance opportunities. We are looking forward to our partnership,” Brown said.
PIE and BACH Stanley’s adventures will be documented on the hospital’s social media pages at https://www.instagram.com/blanchfield_hospital/ or https://www.facebook.com/BACH.Fort.Campbell/ throughout the school year for any members of the community who wish to follow along.
Located on Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Blanchfield Army Community Hospital employees nearly 2,000 Soldiers and federal civil service employees who support the medical readiness of Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Fort Campbell-based units. BACH also provide primary care service to more than 68,000 enrolled Soldiers, retirees and their family members. Additionally, specialty care, including emergency medicine, surgery, women’s health and inpatient care services are provided to more than 110,000 eligible beneficiaries within the 40-mile radius of Fort Campbell.