Unit commanders and administrators from the 86th Airlift Wing, U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz, and the Department of Defense Education Activity Europe East District came together to sign the Adopt-a-School Program Memorandum of Understanding for the Kaiserslautern Military Community Feb. 24 at Ramstein Elementary School.
The Adopt-a-School program is a voluntary, ongoing partnership between a school and a military unit that will foster a mutually beneficial partnership between the local DODEA schools and the Airmen and Soldiers of the KMC.
The program also aims to increase public awareness of the military’s mission, enhance the quality of education, and fulfill needed services within the DODEA European schools, positively impacting the students intellectually, emotionally, socially, and physically.
“The Adopt-a-School Program will prove to be a great initiative, allowing our military units made up of incredible Airmen and Soldiers to forge strong partnerships with our schools across the Kaiserslautern Military Community,” said Col. Curtis Juell, 86th Mission Support Group commander.
When a unit is interested in adopting a school, they will contact the school liaison officer with information on individuals in a unit that will volunteer, the expectations of the unit, and how often they want to volunteer.
Once a unit is matched with a school, the school liaison officer will set up a meeting with the unit’s leadership and the school principal to discuss the needs of the school, what the unit can offer and general guidance on how the program works for both parties.
Afterwards, a written agreement will be provided for the unit commander and school principal to sign, including future updates for any changes in status.
This particular agreement was signed by U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Richard G. Moore Jr., 86th Airlift Wing commander, U.S. Army Col. Keith Igyarto, the U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz commander, and Dr. Liz Dunham, DODEA Europe East District superintendent.
This year, the 86th Security Forces Squadron team partnered with Ramstein Elementary School, and the 21st Theater Sustainment Command with Kaiserslautern High School as the two featured partnerships at the signing.
“We are very fortunate to have been selected for the program,” said Emmalie Lee, Ramstein Elementary School principal. “I think it’s important to see that positive interaction between the 86 SFS bike patrol and the children here.”
Volunteering with the Adopt-a-School program will encourage Airmen and Soldiers to be active community members and will improve institutional and family morale by creating a sense of belonging while stationed overseas.
Creating such a partnership can make a difference in the quality of education military children receive.
The program includes activities such as mentoring, supplementing classroom learning experiences, campus beautification projects, leading students in weekly PT sessions, and afterschool activity sponsorship.
The Air Force school liaison officer can be reached at 480-9374 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and the Army school liaison officer at 541-9061 or email@example.com.