Photo Information

Nancy Gaskill shakes Maj. Eric Christophe’s hand at H.J. McDonald Middle School in New Bern, North Carolina, April 24, 2015. Personal Support Detachment 14 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, adopted the school in support of the command’s community outreach efforts. With the agreement, PSD-14 will support the school by participating in career days, playing sports and attending the schools fall festival, in addition to providing mentors to the students. Gaskill is the principal of H.J. McDonald Middle School. Christophe is the commanding officer of PSD-14.

Photo by Cpl. U. B. Roberts

PSD-14 adopts H. J. McDonald Middle School

1 May 2015 | Cpl. U. Roberts Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point’s Personal Support Detachment 14 adopted H. J. McDonald Middle School as part of their command community outreach effort in here, April 24.

The Adopt-a-School program is a program implemented to improve the quality of education by drawing upon the resources and expertise of the military. The program helps develop a mutually beneficial relationship between the Marine Corps and local schools.

“Research demonstrates that strong school-community partnerships build stronger, more resilient students,” said Nancy Gaskill, the principle of H. J. McDonald Middle School. “We see the partnership as a way to strengthen relationships between students and adults, which builds a strong foundation for academic growth.”

The program is implemented throughout the school-year and is renewed annually by the adopting squadron.  

“The Marines offer a fresh and engaging approach to navigating difficulties and striving for success. They demonstrate that individual discipline is a positive trait with many benefits,” said Gaskill. “We look forward to the time they will share with our students, helping to mold them into strong, resilient learners.”

During the course of the school year, the Marines are scheduled to participate in a variety of activities including playing sports, participating in the fall festival and attending a career day.

“I am looking forward to spending time with the students,” said Cpl. Dominique Charlery, a supply clerk with Marine Aircraft Group 14. “This agreement is important to both the students and the service members because it gives the children an opportunity to be introduced to good role models and seek mentorship with a Marine they look up to.”

The Adopt-a-School partnership creates an atmosphere of cooperation while sharing ideas, resources and time. 

It is important to have a military presence in the school because some of the students have parents that are deployed or unable to be with them, explain Charlery. The Marine volunteers will be at the school to assist with homework and various afterschool events.

“Our youth need good adults to look up to,” said Charlery. “Volunteering with them shows them that you want to be there and it provides time to pass on valuable lessons you learned when you were their age.”

With the Adopt-a-School program the Marines are shaping the future generation, according to Charlery.

Over the past three years, squadrons at Cherry Point have adopted more than five schools in the local community.

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point