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Sqaudrons Adopt Schools
Lisa Jones, Everitt Middle School administrative assistant, and Lt. Col. Wayne Wisneski, 325th Communication Squadron commander, discuss the role Airmen will have with students as part of the Adopt-a-School Program. The program allows Airmen to provide a positive role model to students in the local area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ashley M. Wright)
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Tyndall squadrons adopt local schools

Posted 1/18/2013   Updated 1/22/2013 Email story   Print story


by Ashley M. Wright
325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

1/18/2013 - TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Team Tyndall is reaching out to local schools to mentor today's students to be tomorrow's leaders.

The base implemented the Adopt-a-School program in November 2012, said Barbara N. P. Copeland, 325th Force Support SquadronTyndall School Liaison officer and Exceptional Family Member Program coordinator. The program is the first of its kind for the base.

"We just had a lot of people interested in helping," said Maj. Christopher Carroll, 325th Comptroller Squadron commander whose unit mentors students at Parker Elementary. "They love seeing us in uniform."

The squadron meets to mentor the students about once a week, the major said. They have also planned events such as bowling and lunch.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to get involved in the community," Ms. Copeland said. "There are huge benefits to this initiative."

So far, Tyndall squadrons have adopted three schools: Parker Elementary by the 325th CPTS and Air Force Research Lab, Springfield Elementary by the 325th Operations Support Squadron and Everitt Middle School by the 325th Communications Squadron, said Ms. Copeland.

The most recent school to be adopted was Everitt Middle School, which has a student body composed of 6th through 8th graders.

"I want them to be inspired to go beyond where they think they go can go," said Lisa Jones, Everitt Middle School administrative assistant.

The adoption process includes signing a memorandum of understanding between the school and a representative from the 325th CS.

"It is a great connection where military members can provide positive input," said Master Sgt. Steven Young, 325th CS first sergeant.

The paperwork lays out the expectations for both the school and unit. According to the agreement, the adopting squadron will appoint a "partnership advocate" from the unit who will work directly with the school liaison officer and designated school officials to identify, select and prioritize activities within the scope of this partnering program. Finally, the squadron provides volunteers to assist the school in the following areas: on-site mentoring, tutoring, field day events, school improvement projects and more.

"This is so important because of the kids," said Lt. Col. Wayne Wisneski, 325th CS commander.

There are seven more schoolS available for adoption byTyndall squadrons.

"[The program] provides professional role models and mentors," said Ms. Copeland. " In many of the schools, the children need to see and talk with professionals about how to obtain their goals. Mentors often talk about the proverbial 'fork in the road,' and how they overcame challenges. Children need to know that they are being heard, and they need someone to listen and share things with. "

Any squadron interested in the "Adopt A School" initiative can contact Ms. Copeland directly at (850) 283-4204.

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