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Fort Bliss Army Air Defense Center

Fort Bliss Army Air Defense Center

Fort Bliss Army Air Defense Center

Daily Point of Light #1111 -- May 7, 1998

Fort Bliss Partnerships in Education Program provides an on-going supplemental resource program for 27 schools in El Paso to promote educational excellence and to support programs in preparation for life-long learning. The program involves more than 3700 soldiers, civilian employees, and their families in school activities designed to improve educational achievement and keep students in school and on track. It began in 1985 when the general's office at Fort Bliss approached the school district about becoming more directly involved in the local community.

The Partnerships in Education Program employs several different activities that are designed to manage behavior problems better, to provide positive role models, to stimulate academic achievement, and to assist in providing resources to supplement government funds. Activities range from an interactive history program for children, incentive programs for reading, and tutoring, field trips, safety patrol at campuses, and donating computers and materials to the schools.

Fort Bliss soldiers serve as one-on-one mentors and role models in the FACE (Favorable Attitudes Change Everything) Program, an elementary drop-out alternative program to help students succeed behaviorally, and academically. During the students' 30-to 75-day tour at one of two alternative campuses, adult volunteers are paired with students to help develop self- discipline skills, build self-esteem and concentrate on achievement.

Students' scores on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) have gone up as a result of the program. At one elementary school, students' in reading increased 18.5 points in two years, and math scores increased 20 points, according to the school district. More students are involved in activities and high school graduation rates have risen well over the 90% "Goals2000" goal, since the partnership began. The program has also benefited the soldiers as school personnel and students have reached out to soldiers who are away from home to share family holiday meals and other support.

Fort Bliss funds the program. Soldiers are given time off of normal duty volunteer. The army is using this program as its worldwide model.