To help prepare service members and their families for the start of the new academic year, Fort Irwin, Calif., held two back to school events July 29 and 30, 2022, on post.
On July 29, Fort Irwin and the Silver Valley Unified School District hosted the first Back to School Town Hall at the Sandy Basin Community Center, where members of the community could interact with school administrators and teachers.
The following day, the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation hosted its annual Block Party.
The event, which drew hundreds of attendees, gave Fort Irwin residents and newcomers the opportunity to connect with teachers and administrators from SVUSD and multiple programs that Fort Irwin’s Army Community Service office offers.
Jesse Najera, superintendent of SVUSD, hosted the town hall on behalf of the school district.
“It’s always an honor to serve this great community,” Najera said. “The Block Party was a great event and gave the SVUSD team an awesome opportunity to interact with families and students.”
In addition to meeting with school staff and personnel from the ACS office, students received free backpacks and other school necessities from numerous organizations such as the National Training Center- High Desert Chapter of AUSA, Operation Homefront, and the Villages at Fort Irwin.
According to Kimberly Johnson, Fort Irwin’s Operation Homefront chapter president, members of the chapter handed out 200 backpacks filled with school supplies to the students and their families.
“We have been providing school supplies to students here at Fort Irwin for several years,” Johnson said. “We’re very excited to see the kids go back to school, and we’re happy to assist military families wherever we can.”
Operation Homefront is a national nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance, transitional housing programs and other services to military families.
Sarah Davis, who attended the Block Party with her son, Tristan, said she was appreciative of all the SVUSD staff, the volunteers, and vendors.
“Honestly, it’s an awesome event,” said Davis. “We got to meet with school staff, Tristan was able to get his school supplies, and I got to shop from some of the home-based businesses here.