49th Trans. Donates Truckload of School Supplies
By Pfc. Amy M. Lane
Public Affairs Specialist
4th Sustainment Brigade
TEMPLE, Texas — Soldiers from the 49th Transportation Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) delivered a truckload of donated school supplies to Meredith Dunbar Elementary School Aug. 27.
Lt. Col. Lillard Evans, the battalion commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph Bivens, and several Soldiers, arrived with boxes, crates and bags full of supplies such as book bags, paper towels, hand sanitizers, notebooks and art supplies.
“We just took the school’s list of items that they needed and Soldiers from each section started buying from it,” said Sgt. 1st Class Patrice Pruitt. “We asked for donations and everyone stepped up to help.”
Meredith Dunbar Elementary is the 49th Trans. Bn.’s adopted school. Volunteers from the battalion go to the school every week to tutor students and read to them.
“We find out where the school needs help, and then try to develop a program for the school year,” said Sgt. 1st Class John Ingram, who has been involved with the Adopt-A-School program in previous years.
Ingram said the volunteers have also done landscaping at the school and participated in field days with students. One year they donated a silver cougar statue, which is the school’s mascot.
“My mother was a retired teacher, so I’ve had a chance to see the needs of schools,” he said. “The same Soldiers go to the same classrooms every week so they really develop relationships with students. They are able to mentor and be role models for the children.”
After delivering the donated supplies, the Soldiers went into several second and third grade classrooms to visit briefly with students. Evans gave a short talk to each classroom, welcoming the students to the new school year and introducing the Soldiers that accompanied him.
“We just want to be sure that you start the school year in an outstanding fashion,” he said. “We will be checking up on you to make sure that you’re learning and doing the right thing.”
Lt. Col. Lillard Evans, commander of the 49th Transportation Battalion, watches as a student and teachers from Meredith Dunbar Elementary School in Temple, Texas check out the school supplies that Soldiers collected and donated to their adopted school Aug. 27. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Amy M. Lane)
Students and a teacher from Meredith Dunbar Elementary, the 49th Transportation Battalion's adopted school, pose with a few of the school supplies that were donated by Soldiers and delivered to the school Aug. 27. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Amy M. Lane)