Nearly 550 enthusiastic students, parents, teachers, community members and Army personnel gathered at the gymnasium of North Middle School in Hardin County, Ky., on March 11 to celebrate the national launch of a new student leadership development program, Project Partnership for All Students’ Success (PASS).
The new program offers elective courses for middle school and high school students through the Junior Leadership Corps (JLC) and Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) to help students refine their leadership skills and prepare for their futures. Project PASS aims to help students become college and career ready and encourages them to stay in school.
The concept of Project PASS was established through a collaborative partnership between the U.S. Army and the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE), which represents America’s state and territorial boards of education.
The launch underscored the transformative impact that JLC and JROTC programming can have on a student’s life. At the launch, both students and administrators shared stories of hope and inspiration, while challenging attendees to achieve the JLC creed’s ambition of leadership and citizenship.
Hardin County Schools hosted Gen. George W. Casey, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and Ms. Brenda Welburn, Executive Director, NASBE for the launch event.
“NASBE and the U.S. Army have a shared commitment to decreasing drop-out rates,” said Welburn. “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.”
A recent NASBE report, Common Ground: Education and the Military, Meeting the Needs of Students, found that educators, who apply military-inspired education programs for students, develop and sustain community partnerships for the benefit of students, and implement leadership training programs such as 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.”
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 ultimately help students meet their potential.
Hardin County Schools is one of four districts to launch Project PASS. Other ceremonies will be held in the coming weeks at school districts in Christian County, Ky., Miami-Dade, Fla., Gwinnett County, Ga., and Garden City, Kan.