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Silver Bluff partners with Fort Gordon through Adopt-A-School program

September 23, 2018

Silver Bluff High School is partnering with Fort Gordon through the U.S. Army’s Adopt-A-School program.

Principal Bert Postell, Lt. Col. David Burnham and Command Sgt. Maj. James Jetton with Fort Gordon’s 442nd Signal Battalion signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday afternoon during a faculty meeting.

Under the agreement, U.S. Army service members from Fort Gordon will tutor, teach, coach and mentor students, teachers and school administrators with classroom projects, assemblies and activities such as CyberPatriots and the SeaPerch Underwater Robotics.

The agreement also will enhance community relations and partnerships between Fort Gordon and the Silver Bluff High School communities of New Ellenton, Jackson and Beech Island.

Postell said Silver Bluff High is the “first and only school in the Aiken County Public School District” to partner with Fort Gordon.

“After all the hard work of putting it together, it’s good to see it happen,” he said. “I’m glad we’re first – proud to be first. This will be a great opportunity for Silver Bluff High School to work with Fort Gordon and the 442nd to benefit our students and community.”

Postell said the partnership is a “perfect” fit with Silver Bluff’s thematic focus on technology, engineering and the arts.

“It will mean resources and real-world experiences for our students, especially with our trying to break into the cyber world,” he said. “In our technology program, we’re trying to develop cyber. That’s where we’re going.”

Burnham, who is from Aiken County and whose brother, Allen Burnham, is an assistant principal at Silver Bluff, said the program is an opportunity for service members, students and community residents to interact.

“We’ll be talking to the kids and providing guidance and support, saying, hey, this is what the military can do for you whether it be an officer or enlisted or a warrant officer as a technical advisor,” he said. “There’s life outside of here. Let’s go forth and do great things.”

Assistant Principal Burnham said the partnership with Fort Gordon developed when his brother took command.

“We connected as a family,” said Burnham, who is a retired lieutenant colonel. “It will be fantastic for the school and the community.”

The mission of Fort Gordon’s Adopt-A-School program is “to routinely contribute military resources and services to schools in order to nurture students’ intellectual, emotional social, and physical growth in Richmond and Columbia counties while increasing public awareness of the Army’s mission. It was designed to help youth succeed and achieve their dreams through interaction with positive role models,” according to the fort’s public affairs office.

With the partnership with Silver Bluff High, the program crosses the Savannah River and expands into Aiken County.

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