Schools, Hood Units Plan Activities

Adopt-A-School Meet and Greet 2022
By: Todd Martin
As children return to school, Killeen ISD leaders are counting on lots of volunteers, including many soldiers connected to the Fort Hood Adopt-A-School Program.
Killeen ISD Community Relations Director Angenet Wilkerson and School Liaison Officer Tina Smith met Friday with representatives from the district secondary schools and military partners to plan engagement activities. They will meet with elementary school leaders next week.
After covering a wide range of guidelines and responsibilities, the soldiers and school leaders got to work.
Spread across the cafeteria floor of the renamed Franklin and Emily Pratt Learning and Leadership Center (formerly Nolan Middle School) soldiers and school leaders began planning volunteer activities.
Many hope to have soldiers join in greeting and engaging students and family members during Meet the Teacher next Thursday and on the first day of school Aug. 15.
That is just the beginning.
Liberty Hill Middle School counselor Cynthia Bailey said her school’s partnership with the 9th Air Support Operations Squadron has been a strong one.
Military personnel have helped serve meals at Thanksgiving, assisted with Meet the Teacher and the book fair.
She said Librarian Rebecca Faye helped organize ongoing activities through the Bronco Youth Center, providing arts and crafts for students.
“We know we have students who don’t have mom and dad around and having soldiers in the building provides a positive role model and sometimes it is someone not much older than they are,” Bailey explained.
“They see someone who has a job and is contributing to the community and our country,” she said.
The school counselor said she was especially excited to try to work out ways that students at Liberty Hill can assist their adoptive unit, maybe through some of the unit’s holiday celebrations.
Wilkerson urged school leaders to pursue the Purple Star designation, which shows engagement between the military and schools.
She said the key is to consider the relationship a partnership.
“There are not many school districts that have what we have with Fort Hood,” Wilkerson said. “It’s about bridging gaps so we can grow hearts, minds and community.”
The Fort Hood Adopt-A-School mission includes the following: “parental and community involvement in the school is essential for the maximum educational development of a child.”
Fort Hood units support 118 schools spread across nine Central Texas school districts.