Socorro Independent School District hosted a Military Appreciation Day at the District Service Center this fall for Team SISD’s military families.
The event is part of the district’s commitment to ensuring every student succeeds, which includes the more than 3,100 military-dependent students.
“We wanted to make sure we engage with the families,” said Dr. Carmen Olivas Graham, SISD’s director of administrative services. “In the past, we have done other type of events but they were geared specifically for adults. What we heard from the military families is they want events where they can bring their children. They want opportunities to come together to these events as a family.”
Many military families don’t have relatives in the area. They only have other military families to form relationships with, Olivas Graham said.
“They wanted opportunities to come together and meet each other,” she said. “We want to provide these kinds of activities for our military families.”
At the military appreciation event, students and parents had the opportunity to connect with deployed family members online. They also participated in a pumpkin decorating contest, numerous children’s games, an art contest where children had to share what it meant to be a military child in El Paso, and information sessions that showcased numerous programs available to military families.
The most endearing endeavour was the Build-a-Bear room where military families created care packages for deployed loved ones. The toy manufacturer provided more than 80 bears for the care packages. The district included numerous snacks and products that could be added to the package. Each family also made special cards for their loved ones.
“It’s been wonderful to see the children creating these special packages for their moms and dads,” said Ann Darnell, an SISD grant writer, who was in charge of the deployment care packages. “It’s so tough on the family, but making these boxes have brought a lot of smiles.”
Sh’con Jefcoat and her son, Elijah Adams, enjoyed the half-day event. This is the family’s first deployment. But it hasn’t been as difficult as Jefcoat imagined.
“We have been treated really good,” Jefcoat said. “The district has helped with a lot of stuff. They are so supportive and really understanding about everything. This event is a good example. It’s so great for those who don’t know what to do or where to go. I have picked up so much information just being here. It’s great just to know there are people here to help.”
To view more photos of the event, click here.