By Karl Weisel (USAG Wiesbaden)December 29, 2010
WIESBADEN, Germany - Like superheroes equipped with utility toolbelts and colorful garb, participants in the garrison's school partnership program now have unique T-shirts, pens and other gear.
Aukamm Elementary School's Christian Dunlap-Twist and Noel Schwandt were the first recipients of the new Wiesbaden Kid's News T-shirts during a taping of the program at American Forces Network-Wiesbaden studios Dec. 8.
Thanks to a cash award from the Military Child Education Coalition for U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden's outstanding community-school partnership program, Peter Witmer, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden school liaison officer, was able to purchase T-shirts, pens and keychains bearing the community-school partnership logo.
"We were recognized for an award-winning community-school partnership and were given some money," said Witmer. "We wanted the children to have a tangible reward - something they could take away from their Kid's News experience."
The garrison's community-school partnership was recognized as the best program worldwide at the 12th annual MCEC Conference in July. The cash award was presented with the stipulation that it be used to further promote the partnership between military units, the media, USAG Wiesbaden and Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Europe.
As part of Kid's News, now in its fourth year, students from the four schools and Child, Youth and School Services programs visit AFN-Wiesbaden on a weekly basis to tape news about upcoming activities and to promote newsworthy events of interest community-wide. During the visit the AFN staff provides a tour of the facility, mentoring and the chance for youths to record for television and radio.
"A lot of people see the value in this program," said Witmer, praising the ongoing support by the AFN staff. "Every time they come over they get a tour."
Besides providing insight into the world of communications, students are exposed to careers in the military and the media, polish their public speaking abilities and help keep everyone more attuned to what's going on in their schools.
"The kids like it and the parents do to," he said.
"I think it gives them a chance to come out of their shells," said Sgt. 1st Class Claudia Twist, with Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 66th Military Intelligence Brigade, as she accompanied her son, Christian, during a visit to AFN. "How many kids can say I've been on the television and the radio on the same day'"
"It was awesome," said AFN-Wiesbaden's Spc. Rhonda Roth, who produced a recent segment of Kid's News, praising the ongoing program.
"I like being on TV and going on the radio," said Christian. "The thing I don't like about it is stuttering or missing a line."
Noel explained that during the Aukamm Elementary School Kid's News segment, he and Christian talked about the upcoming winter break. "I like doing it. It's fun."
"I love it when they're on there (AFN)," said Noel's mother, Michelle. "I like that they give them a tour of the place and I like seeing them on TV too."
For more information about Kid's News or the community-school partnership program call the USAG Wiesbaden School Liaison Office at mil 335-5129 or civ (0611) 4080-129.