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Making a Difference

WHS Promotes Education with Local School Partnership

A picture of Defense Secretary Hagel greeting students

Since the Office of the Secretary of Defense adopted John Tyler Elementary School (JTES) of Washington, D.C. in 1984, WHS has led and coordinated multiple recurring events in partnership with JTES to foster a nurturing environment in which both the students and Department of Defense employees learn and grow.

Annual events include the "Spirit of Service" Shadow Day at the Pentagon during Public Service Recognition Week each May, a Thanksgiving Food Drive each November, and a Holiday Gift Drive each December. Additionally, WHS sponsors a Student Tutoring and Mentoring Program to support childhood education and promote a positive National Capital Region community. Supporting JTES in a host of hands-on initiatives allows for the greatest impact on students and employees alike, along with the opportunity to see smiles on students' faces.

In 2011, the Holiday Gift Drive gathered gifts for over 90% of JTES's students. In 2012, ten WHS employees visited the "Tyler Tigers" to deliver gift bags and read stories aloud to three classes, with one student exclaiming, "this is the best Christmas I have ever had!"

The opportunity for WHS employees to visit JTES, and for the students to visit the Pentagon, provides a truly unique, enduring experience. In their May 2013 Shadow Day visit to the Pentagon, students participated in various activities throughout the day, including a special Pentagon tour and the chance to meet with senior leaders and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

This partnership is invaluable to the Department and JTES alike, deepening an appreciation for public service, and most importantly, creating memorable experiences.

Learn more about the WHS Partnership In Education Program.

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