U.S. Army and the National Association of State Boards of Education Team Up To Launch New Leadership Development and Academic Achievement Program

Mar 10, 2011, 13:28 ET from U.S. Army

Project PASS will Support Middle and High School Students

RADCLIFF, Ky., March 10, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hardin County Schools are pleased to join the United States Army and the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) in the launch of a new pilot program aimed at developing leadership and academic skills for middle school and high school students.

The program, Project Partnership for All Students' Success (PASS), offers elective Junior Leadership Corps (JLC) courses, after-school activities and a JROTC program to develop character and leadership with the goal of keeping students in school and improving their chances for a successful life.  Project PASS was established through a partnership between the U.S. Army and NASBE, which represents America's state and territorial boards of education.

North Middle School in Radcliff, Ky., will host the national launch event, Mar. 11.  U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, General George W. Casey, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, and Brenda Welburn, Executive Director, NASBE, will provide remarks about the PASS initiative.

"NASBE and the U.S. Army have a shared commitment to decreasing drop-out rates," said Brenda Welburn, Executive Director of NASBE. "Project PASS will help young people develop key skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, discipline, teamwork and integrity, making them more likely to stay in school."

The Army has long dedicated itself to education, sponsoring a wide range of programs for America's youth, such as The Boost Campaign and "Operation Graduation," both of which motivate high school students to stay in school until graduation.

A recent NASBE report, Common Ground: Education and the Military, Meeting the Needs of Students, found that educators who apply military style education programs for students, develop and sustain community partnerships for the benefit of students, and implement leadership training programs such as Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) impact student achievement. Project PASS will use military-influenced leadership curriculum to help students develop strength of character, self confidence and academic discipline to supplement their academic training.

"Ensuring the success of each student is our top priority," said Ms. Nannette Johnston, Superintendent of Hardin County Schools. "We are pleased to garner the shared commitment of the U.S. Army, NASBE, the Department of Education, Service Organizations and Businesses as we work to help students achieve their goals both in school and in life."

According to America's Promise Alliance, schools face a myriad of challenges nationwide, including combating a high drop-out rate that includes 1.2 million students each year. Additionally schools struggle to create an environment that fosters leadership, accountability and academic achievement. NASBE and the U.S. Army believe Project PASS' unique blend of community support, a continuum of curriculum—middle school through high school— and leadership opportunities will go far towards meeting these challenges and ultimately help students reach their potential.

Several well-known businesses and organizations have also signed up to support the program, including Sodexo, AmeriCorps and Raytheon Company.  

Sodexo, one of the first businesses to sign on, will provide technical assistance and nutritional education tools to students, school leaders, teachers and personnel, beginning with Hardin County Schools.

AmeriCorps, which is providing volunteers through its VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) program will help build out the program in Kentucky.  In the future, VISTAs will work with PASS teams at every site throughout the country.  

Raytheon Company will support the Hardin County pilot through its MathMovesU program (www.mathmovesu.com).  MathMovesU seeks to increase middle school students' interest in math and science by engaging them in hands-on, interactive activities. Raytheon also provides opportunities for its employees to volunteer their time through the MathMovesU program.

The county joins four other school districts, including Christian County, Kentucky; Miami-Dade, Florida; Gwinnett County, Georgia; and Garden City, Kansas. The program will support hundreds of students across these communities.

Note: Photographs and video footage from the event will be available through the Army DVIDs distribution site (http://www.dvidshub.net/) through the Flickr account (http://www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter/) and through an FTP site:


Log-in ID: Project_PASS          

Password: PASS2011

A live stream site will broadcast the Project PASS ceremony at http://cadetcommand.armylive.dodlive.mil/stream/


The National Association of State Boards of Education represents America's state and territorial boards of education. NASBE exists to strengthen State Boards as the preeminent educational policymaking bodies for citizens and students. For more, visit www.nasbe.org.

About the U.S. Army

The U.S. Army Accessions Command (USAAC), a subordinate command of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, meets the human resource needs of the Army by transforming volunteers into Officers, warrant officers and enlisted Soldiers. In providing the force, the 18,400 men and women of Accessions Command prepare these future Soldiers and leaders for their initial military training.  Commanded by Lt. Gen. Benjamin Freakley, USAAC is located at Fort Knox, Ky. and Fort Monroe, Va.

About Sodexo

Sodexo, Inc. (www.sodexoUSA.com), leading Quality of Daily Life Solutions company in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, delivers On Site Service Solutions in Corporate, Education, Health Care, Government, and Remote Site segments, as well as Motivation Solutions such as Esteem Pass. Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., funds all administrative costs for the Sodexo Foundation (www.SodexoFoundation.org), an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $15 million in grants to fight hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at www.sodexoUSA.com/blog.