By Katherine RosarioSeptember 13, 2010
FORT RILEY, Kan. - Fort Riley Soldiers teamed up with schools on post and in the Central Flint Hills Region Sept. 2 at Riley's Conference Center, to plan and establish partnerships in support of the 2015 campaign plan.
The new partnership is meant to increase awareness to both native Kansans and military children about the Army's mission at Fort Riley; provide Soldier mentors in classrooms; and further the success of the Army Community Covenant.
More than 50 schools in Clay, Riley, Pottawatomie, Wabaunsee, Morris, Geary, Dickinson and Saline counties have requested a partnership with Fort Riley and its Soldiers.
Each unit will assign a representative for a chosen school, who will coordinate events like reading to children in classrooms; participating in events and parades; and mentoring children in need.
Unit and school representatives will sync their calendars each month and look for ways children and Soldiers can interact during school.
During the meeting's breakout session, each unit discussed with its assigned school one idea for a children's event.
Amy Flinn, principal at West Elementary School, Wamego, who partnered up with 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, said the Adopt-A-School program was important because it allowed students and Soldiers to interact in a positive way.
"It is important for kids to build positive relationships and have a good role model. It is also a good opportunity for them to see the Soldiers who serve and protect us. It is an opportunity for us to learn from each other and work together," she said.
Capt. William Richardson, 1st ARB, 1st Avn. Regt., CAB, 1st Inf. Div., said his group will focus on sending a Soldier out to the school on a weekly basis to act as a role model for students.
"We want to provide the children with a role model - somebody to look up to - for those who may not have someone to look up to at home," he said.