Community members honored for dedication to children of military families

Set of residents and local organizations awarded with Pete Taylor Partnership of Excellence award
Tune in to learn more about a set of community members awarded for their commitment to military kids.
Published: Aug. 25, 2023 at 3:52 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - At noon on Aug. 25, a handful of community members and organizations gathered to receive the Pete Taylor Partnership of Excellence Award. The award provided by the Military Children Education Coalition was given to the partnered groups and individuals for their collaborative efforts that culminated in the “Day in the Life Activity Fair,” which took place at Pioneer Park in April. The fair provided the community a chance to learn about what life is like for students and children in military families.

“This partnership began last fall with a vision of somehow recognizing and celebrating military children and youth in April which is designated as the month of the military child,” said Lee Williams, the superintendent of Pioneer Park.

The awards were given to people from the school district, Eielson Air Force Base, Ft. Wainwright, the Fairbanks North Star Borough, FNSB Dept. of Parks and Recreation and the Fairbanks Arts Association, all of which were recognized for their continuing efforts to help kids in the military. This includes working with military kids on academic success, success in life and finding connections in the golden heart community.

About 25 percent of students in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District come from the military, requiring the district to dedicate a lot of time and energy into supporting that population. Here they have faired well with multiple schools recognized as Purple Star schools in 2022. “That’s something we’re really passionate about,” said Dr. Luke Meinert, the superintendent for the school district.

Other aspects of the partnerships include the year round efforts to help military families coming in and leaving the interior. Typical time spent at a given base is about three years, meaning that a family that stays in the military for 20 years, “they can move on an average of ten times in their school career,” said Janet Farris, the Ft. Wainwright school liaison officer.