Fort Riley, Kansas



Soldiers adopt a school, mentor students, build relations

By Spc. Walter Carroll | 1ST INF. DIV. SUST. BDE. PUBLIC AFFAIRS | January 24, 2018

     Soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade participated in a community relations project, “Adopt-a-School,” at Mission Valley Unified School District 330 in Eskridge, Kansas, Nov. 28.

    Adopt-a-School is a program where Soldiers provide support to schools by mentoring students, participating in school activities and aiding student learning.

     Spc. Stone N. Huntley, a unit supply specialist with the 1st Inf. Div. Sust. Bde., had the opportunity to teach the students some things about the military, as well as share his interest in some of his own recreational activities.

     “We went to a school to essentially interact with them (the students) and be someone to teach them about military life and personal experiences,” Huntley said.

      While at the school, Huntley interacted with and performed for a few of the students.

     “When I got there I brought a few things with me (juggling pins, a harmonica and a unicycle) so they set me up in an art class,” Huntley said. “I decided to bring things I’m good at, know how to do and that I’m confident with.”

      The students said they enjoyed Huntley’s unconventional approach.

     “I think it’s cool,” said Mackenzie Smith, a student at Mission Valley high school. “I want to go into the military and I am still deciding which branch, so it’s good to get advice from you guys (Soldiers).”

      As part of his interacting with the students, Huntley showed them how to ride a unicycle.

      “A lot of people have never seen a unicycle in real life,” Huntley said. “During lunch I rode around the perimeter of the cafeteria and hopped up the stairs to their stage and everyone seemed to really enjoy it.”

      Holly Savage, a Kindergarten to 12th grade art teacher at Mission Valley USD 330, watched with the students while Huntley performed with his har­monica and juggling.

      “I think it’s wonderful,” Savage said. “I think seeing the other side of you guys lets them (the students) see they can relate to you.”

     Although this was a work-related event for Huntley, he plans to continue using his talents and volunteering his time with other community youth.

      “I’m actually planning on volunteering another week, working with kids, juggling, making animal balloons and music,” Huntley said.

     Kristie Kemp, a fifth grade teacher with Mission Valley Elementary school, had the opportunity to learn about the Army as another Soldier interacted with her students.

      “I think it was an awesome and great experience for the kids to see military personnel outside of the public and to see them inside the school setting,” Kemp said. “The sergeant we had in here (Staff Sgt. Timothy Muckle) really stressed the importance of reading and staying in school, because you’ll need it even your line of work (the military) not only in other professions. This was great because I do have a lot of students who have talked about wanting to join the military.


Tag Adopt-a-School