ATLAS reaches out to soldiers

Published 2:51 pm Friday, February 25, 2011

The children of ATLAS, an acronym for Adventures Through Learning And Service, recently experienced the service component by reaching out to a local husband, father and friend who is serving a six-month tour in the Middle East.

Second Class Lt. Eric Barr, a Navy Reserve officer who was called to active duty and left for Iraq on Dec. 26, 2010, is currently in Kuwait awaiting orders to head into Iraq.

The elementary and middle school students enrolled in ATLAS’s after school program wanted to reach out to Lt. Barr, who also happens to be the father of two of the participants.

The children made a banner thanking him and his fellow servicepersons for their dedication to our country. They also baked cookies and earlier sent a care package to him.

As an educational component, the participants spent some time discovering where Kuwait and Iraq are located in the world.

“I liked making the banner and cookies for Heather and Nolan’s dad and his friends. I hope they enjoy them,” said Jacklyn Broxton, a fifth-grader at Hutto Middle School.

The students took part in greasing the pans, placing cookies on the cookie sheets, and later removing them from the pans, bagging them and packing them in the shipping box.

Owner/Director Greg McDonald was pleased that the students were so enthusiastic about the project.

“I did have to sacrifice some cookie dough to the kids in the process. The treats kept the bakers motivated to get those cookies baked and in the mail,” McDonald said. “Several parents contributed to the effort by making chocolate chip cookie dough for us to bake, and the U.S. Postal Service provides special rates for packages sent to service personnel.”

McDonald also emphasized that ATLAS Educational Services, which is located at 908 S. Scott St., plans to continue reaching out and serving others during the after-school program and spring/summer day camps.