The Fort George G. Meade Adopt-a-School program started as a community outreach pilot program under the Army's "Service to the Nation" program, when Meade Senior High School found itself the focus of local and state news because of reports of its incidences of student violence and drug use. The program operates under the commonly accepted role of the military to protect and serve. "Be All That You Can Be," the program's motto, sums up its approach.
The program chose to work with an entire K – 12 program rather than just adopting one school. As one group of volunteers read to kindergarten students, others put into place a senior high program that will affect those kindergartners in 12 years. One elementary school in the program now has a drill team with uniforms, public performances and a growing sense of pride. There are more than 400 men and women volunteering to help the school system's 7,300 students achieve the goal of "Success for All Students."
The Adopt-a-School program seeks way to achieve goals that address the concerns of the entire community. It has promoted partnerships to enhance the quality of education and activities in the Meade High School Feeder System. It has made an impact on reducing the demand for drugs among high-risk student populations. The program has enabled students to interact with military role models.
Principals have reported improved self-esteem, greater sense of responsibility and improved physical fitness. Volunteers have reported an increase in self-worth as they realize they can make a difference in the lives of children.
Though the pilot program funding ended September 30, 1995, the volunteers keep the program thriving. Most volunteers use their own leave to participate, however, officials offer support through release time whenever possible.