2013-11-29 / Community Events

Air Force 3rd Intelligence Squadron adopt C.T. Walker Magnet School

By Bonnie Heater
Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office


“What is our national animal?” Capt. Erik Sowder and Sr. Airman Angel Andino, with 3rd Intelligence Squadron, quiz C.T. Walker School kindergartners on bald eagles and other U.S. symbols during a Friday school visit. 
Photo by Bill Bengston / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office “What is our national animal?” Capt. Erik Sowder and Sr. Airman Angel Andino, with 3rd Intelligence Squadron, quiz C.T. Walker School kindergartners on bald eagles and other U.S. symbols during a Friday school visit. Photo by Bill Bengston / Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office Air Force members of the 3rd Intelligence Squadron at Fort Gordon are scheduled to formally adopt the C. T. Walker Traditional Magnet School in December.

The school principal, Renee Kelly, and Lt. Col. Brad Borke, the 3rd Intelligence Squadron commander, will sign a statement of understanding as part of the Fort Gordon Partners in Education Adopt-A-School program. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Dec. 16 at the school auditorium. Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver is scheduled to attend the ceremony. The 480th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group Honor Guard of Fort Gordon will also be part of the program. In addition, members of the 480th ISR Group Choir and the CT Walker School choir will perform.

The Adopt-A-School activities are designed to increase public awareness of the mission of the Air Force and the Army, and to foster good relations with the local communities.

Although the signing ceremony will make the adoption official, a few of the squadron’s Airmen have already been working with students at the school. Several Airmen participated Nov. 15 in the school’s “Military Day.” Airmen talked to students in kindergarten through the eighth grade about the Air Force, military life and answered the students’ questions on a wide variety of subjects as part of the program.

Airmen are tutoring twice a week at the school and are conducting regular mentoring sessions with the students, according to Borke. “We envision the Airmen engaging with students in academics, art, music, technology and sports,” he explained. “We plan to have a long-term, enduring relationship with the school. Healthy relationships are built over time and since our goal is to provide the children mentors and role models, we need to be invested for the long term.”

“It’s important we stand connected with the people that we serve – especially the future of our country, our children,” he added. “C.T. Walker School offers the opportunity for my Airmen, most of whom are very young, to gain a broader and deeper appreciation for their military service and put a ‘face’ to the [American] flag.”

One of the participants in the program and the lead coordinator for the squadron, 2nd Lt. Nicole L. Kohlmier, admits she finds the program provides unique opportunities for all the volunteers. “For me, this is the first time working with such a wide spread of age groups,” Kohlmier said. “We are there to serve as another positive and stable influence in the children’s lives.”

“As a group, we all come from different backgrounds, varying childhoods, we chose to join the military for different reasons, and have different future goals – this enables us to relate with the students in the school, who like us, are all unique,” she added.

Kohlmier, like most of the Airmen involved in the Adopt-A-School program, finds it rewarding to volunteer their time to work with the children. “Volunteering at C.T. Walker Traditional Magnet School gives us a chance to take a step back away from the stresses of our daily lives and to work with young, smart, vibrant students who want nothing more from us than a little bit of time and attention,” Kohlmier explained. “The students have been really receptive to our presence at the school and have responded positively to this program.”

Anyone interested in learning more about the Fort Gordon Adopt- ASchool program can contact School Support Services at (706) 791-4168 or email Melissa.a.barrickman.naf@ mail.mil.

Return to top