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Fort Hood gives back to Central Texas community through Adopt-A-School program

Soldiers met with Belton ISD leaders to plan events and activities for students during the upcoming school year.

BELTON, Texas — You've seen the signs across Central Texas, "Our Adopted School" marked with U.S. Army units.

But, what does that really mean?

It's called the Adopt-A-School program. Soldiers from different units at Fort Hood partner with schools to be an extra resource.

"What we have seen over decades and decades of war and peace has been the Central Texas community really stepping up and to support the soldiers and families of this installation," said Fort Hood's Garrison Commander Col. Chad Foster.

Fort Hood is returning the service and support of Central Texas by investing in kids and education. Soldiers from a variety of units adopt a school to teach, coach, mentor and inspire students throughout the school year.

"There's lot of opportunities for Fort Hood personnel to be on campus and working with our kids," said Michael Morgan, Belton ISD's Assistant Superintendent of Operations. "Our kids love it, we love it and it's a great partnership."

From field days, to guest judges, to Veterans Day and learning to properly fold a flag; Belton ISD leaders shared with soldiers their expectations for the school year.

"Whatever these school systems need and would like us to support and that we can support," said Col. Foster.

The soldiers' official duties of the country comes first, but developing a community bond and being a constructive partner is a high priority.

"Using the adopt-a-unit as one of our resources has been tremendous for our kids and for the morale of our staff," said Sandy Garrett, principal of District Alternative Education Program.

Every major independent school district that Fort Hood families reside in are a part of the program, that's nine school districts and 117 different schools across Central Texas.

"We have a growing number of military families in our community and we just value any opportunity we have to partner with Fort Hood and to provide services for our military families," Morgan added.

With 75% of Fort Hood families living off base, Fort Hood knows it has to go beyond the fence line to serve.

"We are very fortunate to have them located so closely and have their services," said Garrett.

To keep soldiers and kids safe Belton ISD plans to have all of their actives with the Adopt-A-School program outside until it's safe to reunite in the classroom.