2017-05-12 / Front Page

Adopt-A-School program formalizes partnership

BY LAURA LEVERING
Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office


City of Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis Jr. visits May 5 with Lt. Col. Josie Hobbs, 116th Military Intelligence Brigade deputy commander, after the Adopt-A-School program’s kickoff breakfast. 
PHOTO BY BILL BENGTSON / FORT GORDON PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE City of Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis Jr. visits May 5 with Lt. Col. Josie Hobbs, 116th Military Intelligence Brigade deputy commander, after the Adopt-A-School program’s kickoff breakfast. PHOTO BY BILL BENGTSON / FORT GORDON PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE Dozens of Fort Gordon personnel, school officials and local dignitaries met to formalize an agreement that pledges to help students choose a path of success.

The Fort Gordon Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation hosted an Adopt- A-School kickoff breakfast May 5 at Gordon’s Conference and Catering. Distinguished guests attending and speaking at the event included Congressman Rick Allen, Georgia’s 12th District; Maj. Gen. John B. Morrison Jr., U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon commanding general; Col. Todd Turner, Fort Gordon garrison commander; City of Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis Jr.; Dr. Sandra Carraway, Columbia County Schools superintendent; and Kenneth Bradshaw, Richmond County Schools deputy superintendent.


Signing a memorandum of understanding May 5 for the Adopt- A-School program are Lt. Col Josie Hobbs, 116th Military Intelligence Brigade deputy commander, and Stacey Maybray, Butler High School principal in Augusta. 
PHOTO BY BILL BENGTSON / FORT GORDON PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE Signing a memorandum of understanding May 5 for the Adopt- A-School program are Lt. Col Josie Hobbs, 116th Military Intelligence Brigade deputy commander, and Stacey Maybray, Butler High School principal in Augusta. PHOTO BY BILL BENGTSON / FORT GORDON PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE The mission of Adopt-A-School is to routinely contribute military resources and services to schools in order to nurture students’ intellectual, emotional, social, and physical growth in Richmond and Columbia counties while increasing public awareness of t he Army’s mission. It was designed to help youth succeed and achieve their dreams through interaction with positive role.

There are approximately 6,000 children of military and civilian government employees who attend schools across the two counties.

Turner gave a brief overview of the program and expressed gratitude to everyone who helped bring it to fruition.

“I truly believe that there is no military installation in America that enjoys a closer, warmer, or more supportive relationship than the one we enjoy with our neighbors here in this region, and our community partners have demonstrated that again with their support of this event,” Turner said.

Prior to Adopt-A-School, some units had informal partnerships with local schools. Now every high school has a direct point of contact from one of the installation’s major unit commands to include Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force.

Under the program, principals may request service members visit their school to mentor, volunteer, read to students, participate in senior capstone projects, judge school projects, and get involved in other school-related opportunities. Principals may also request to arrange for field trips to the installation.

Joining by way of video-teleconference, Morrison said the program will allow Fort Gordon to commit resources and time to making the community a better place.

“It also provides a great opportunity for Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines to do what we do best: serve and to give back,” Morrison said. “It’s about taking care of each other.”

A grateful Carraway said she was honored to be surrounded by military personnel, crediting them with giving her and others freedom to do what they do.

“We are greatly appreciative of the thought that you service men and women want to come into our buildings and support what we do,” Carraway said. “As we start this strengthened relationship, we thank you, we’re honored and privileged, and we look forward to the great things that we’ll do together.”

Following remarks, each school principal met with their Fort Gordon counterpart to sign a memorandum of understanding. The newfound partnerships were given time to exchange contact information and begin making tentative plans.

“It’s very exciting to have the room packed with so many different people, have the opportunity to put faces together and start making plans… I think it’s wonderful,” said Melissa Barrickman, Fort Gordon school liaison officer. “I think it’s really going to be a benefit to our students.”

The Adopt-A-School program is authorized under Army Regulation 360-1 The Army Public Affairs Program and is a Partners in Education initiative.

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