By Elvia Kelly, Fort Stewart Public AffairsJuly 27, 2011
FORT STEWART, Ga. - Some go to supply themselves with school schedules and supply lists. Others go for general information and youth activities available throughout the school year.
Whatever the reason may be, the Back-to-School fair is a one-stop shop for Families to gain insight of the upcoming school year across Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield. Soldiers and Family Members of the Marne Division visited the Back-to-School fair held at Club Stewart, July 27.
From local school representatives like Liberty County High School and Kessler Elementary to Army Community Service and Directorate of Public Works Recycling specialists, school information was readily available to Family Members and a Back-to-School lunch special was prepared at Club Stewart’s Thunder Run.
“It is important to have a Back-to-School fair for parents and children because [they] can see the different programs offered on base,” said Kamaria Black, Child, Youth & School Services assistant director for building 403. “It is also encouraging to parents that there are programs out there that can also encourage their children. It’s a great way to get the community together to get [the children] ready for school.”
With over a dozen display tables decorated with balloons and school supplies, Soldiers and Family Members were welcomed to a collection of items like rulers, pens and pencils, candy, books and souvenirs. A hotspot for Family Members was the Operation Home Front display table, which prized Families with backpacks filled with school supplies.
“We came last year and we really liked it,” said Allison McCalla, Family Member. “We especially like the Backpack Brigade from Operation Home Front. We sign-up online [to register], and, this year, [Operation Home Front] is giving away free printers and backpacks full of paper, pencils and erasers. They are also giving out stuff here, too, for the people who didn’t register.”
Tanisha Perkins, Liberty County School System’s military student transition consultant, offered information to military Families about Liberty County’s school system. She stated that if a Family Member is going through a Permanent Change of Station or Temporary Duty Station and the Family wishes to seek guidance regarding Liberty’s school system, she is able to provide assistance.
The Back-to-School fair also featured DPW’s Kirby, the recycling robot, and a fashion show. Kirby informed youth about the importance of recycling while the fashion show demonstrated uniforms and styles for youth.
“Going back to school and being in school is very important,” said Black. “Getting [children] started soon, getting them started early, getting them enthused about school and giving them opportunities to see other children is very encouraging [for the child and the Family].”