Posted Date: 08/26/2019
COPPERAS COVE, TX (August 26, 2019)—With the expansion of Fairview/Miss Jewell Elementary from an estimated 400 students to a peak of 700 students, the school will welcome approximately 300 students this school year. Thanks to a Department of Defense Education Activity grant, these students won’t find themselves alone in a new school.
A student-to-student organization in each CCISD school has been formed with funding from the DODEA grant. The program’s purpose is to bring military and civilian students together to welcome new students, create a positive environment, support academic excellence, and ease transitions. The Military Child Education Coalition established the program in 2004.
At Fairview/Miss Jewell Elementary, Elementary Student 2 Student organization takes new students on a tour of the school after registration is completed. In addition to serving as a “welcome wagon” for new students, ES2S members meet monthly to discuss ways to help the school and community.
“These students serve as role models and choose to be in the group for the positive experience and possible leadership roles and opportunities that they may be a part of,” said Karen Folger, parent liaison. “The program is essentially for our military-connected students, but we offer the club to all of our students regardless of military affiliation. Tours are conducted for all new students, not only the students of military-connected families.”
Folger said the program helps students and their families with transitions and positive experiences throughout the school year and the career of the military affiliate and family.
“Many of these students see a lot of changes in schools and living in different areas, sometimes multiple times a year, as movements in troops for training and job areas change,” Folger said.
Student Bailee Dawson participated in the program last year as a fifth grader.
“Sometimes there are a lot of new kids coming into the school,” Dawson said. “Sometimes, it’s hard to keep up, and before you know it some of them are gone again. I like taking the little kids around and showing them how to walk in the cafeteria, where they sit and how to go through the line and everything.”
First grader Gabriella Franklin was a new kindergartener last year entering the school for the first time.
“I liked being taken around by the big kids. They showed me where the nurse’s office was and the front office and introduced me to the people in the office,” Franklin said. “I felt more like I knew where stuff was and I could find my way better.”
Folger said ES2S students work hard to make sure their new friends at the school feel welcome and at home reducing student isolation and bullying.
“You really get to see the students shine in areas you never expected and see how well behaved they are and see future leaders taking on responsibility for themselves and their peers,” Folger said. “It is important to make our children feel at home and teach them how to care for one another. These small gestures of kindness go along way with children and adults alike. We are hopefully building role models and providing leadership opportunities for our future.”