COPPERAS COVE, Texas- Troopers with 1st Cavalry Division welcomed students at Mae Stevens Learning Academy to their first day of pre-kindergarten 4. Mae Stevens is one of 1st Cavalry Division’s adopted schools. Engagements like these further the division efforts to support the various school districts around the greater Fort Hood area.
Approximately 300 students arrived at the school grounds, some of them experiencing school for the first time, they were greeted by several Troopers wearing the big yellow patch, Stetsons and the bright smiles of the “First Team.”
Assistant principal Heather Peacock expressed appreciation as she witnessed the positive affect the Trooper’s presence had on the children.
“Most of our kids either have some military in their family or they have a parent that is active duty or retired,” said Peacock. “I think that it brings a familiarity that helps when the kids come in.”
The Troopers encouraged the children with high fives and cheerful greetings.
Paxy McGill, a military spouse, explained how seeing Troopers stationed at Fort Hood welcoming the children at school helps develop strong community relations. “It makes the kids feel safe, it makes them feel involved,” McGill said about seeing the Troopers present. “It just makes them feel very welcomed to the school.”
Sgt. Destiny Ead, Headquarters Support Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 1CD, expressed great appreciation in helping children feel more comfortable attending their first ever day of school.
“I think it’s actually very important because there are moms and dads that are not able to be here on the kids first day due to either work or being deployed or NTC (National Training Center) so I am honored to actually be here today.”
Command Sgt. Maj. Esteban Alvarado, 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion command sergeant major, emphasized that he has made it one of his goals to continue engaging with schools like Mae Steven.
“It’s not just a random school that we are partnered with,” said Alvarado “we have many Soldiers in this battalion whose children go to that school. It’s awesome to see five or six year old kids that are just in awe of Soldiers just like their moms and dads coming to see them.”
The Adopt-A-School program began in 2004 as a way for the Army to contribute resources and personnel to schools in order to assist in the growth of children as well as build strong relations within the surrounding community. There are nine school districts and over 100 schools in which Fort Hood continues support.