By Staf Sgt. Corey Baltos, USARNORTHMarch 27, 2013
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (March 27, 2012) - "Lt. Gen. Caldwell has challenged us to do the very best we can for our children," said Maj. Gen. Adolph McQueen Jr., deputy commanding general for support, U.S. Army North (Fifth Army). (With the Adopt-A-School Program) together we will influence a culture and provide opportunities for the next generation."
Military and education leaders from Fort Sam Houston and the surrounding community met March 19 at a School-Unit Partnership luncheon for the Fort Sam Houston Adopt-A-School Program, at the Fort Sam Houston Golf Course to discuss the success of the program and plan for the next school year.
The major theme of the luncheon was "Doing More with Less."
Dr. Brian Gottardy, the superintendent of the North East Independent School District, said that as school budgets are reduced the relationship between the schools and Fort Sam Houston would become more important.
"You don't know how much our partnership with you improves the lives of our children," he said. "This relationship will help us get through these tough times."
Units on Fort Sam Houston are partnered with nine schools with the NEISD, the San Antonio Independent School District and the Fort Sam Houston Independent School District. Throughout the year, Soldiers partner with their designated school and provide mentorship to students as well as assist with career days, field trips, and many other activities.
"Having service members in our schools helps kids who are struggling because you all are good role models," said Tina Reck, principal for East Terrell Hills Elementary School.
One of the most beneficial parts of the luncheon was when the units and schools updated everyone on what they are doing with their partnership.
"This exchange of ideas is great," said Lt. Col. Zoltan Krompecher, commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, U.S. Army North. "Devoting one hour a week of our time can have a significant impact on a child's life. I know this is true because I was that kid, and someone saw something in me."
The benefits of volunteering with the schools go both ways.
As Soldiers we get to share our qualities of character and values with the students," said Maj. Chris Oliver, headquarters and headquarters company commander, 32nd Medical Brigade. "This is a great program and we need to continue it."
Command Sgt. Maj. Hu Rhodes, senior enlisted leader for Army North, Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis, challenged the educators to use their military organizations to enrich the learning and achievement experiences of their students.
"Think what it will do for a student who makes the honor role to get recognized by service members with a handshake and a certificate of achievement from the unit," he said.