WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — With Wichita Falls being home to one of the largest military training bases in the nation, you can imagine how many families relocate to Texoma.
And, many of those families bring school-age children with them, who must make what can be difficult transitions into new classrooms.
Burkburnett I.S.D. is going above and beyond to help those students, and for that effort, they’re receiving national attention.
Children in a military family are used to frequent moves, leaving old friends and schools behind to start a new journey at a new school, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. And that’s where Burkburnett High School’s Student 2 Student program comes in.
“We get what they like to do and pair them up with another student who likes to do the same thing, lets say two people like to play football so we would put those two guys together and let him walk him around school and set with him at lunch until he finds a few other friends,” College and Career Readiness Secretary, Nicketta Osborn said.
Sophomore Sydney Mulhare became familiar with the value of partnering when she first moved to Burkburnett.
“Some of the struggles that they have are not knowing anybody or not knowing the layout of the school. If they’re from a small school then transitioning into a big school is a really big problem for them,” Mulhare said.
And what started just a few years ago with ten students has now blossomed into a program involving 130 kids. Osborn said those numbers prove how much the program is needed.
“When they hear about our S2S program we’ve had several parents calling me beforehand saying I heard about your S2S program and we’re so thankful to be here and for our kids to have friends before school even begins,” Osborn said.
Burk I.S.D.’s S2S team made it into the top three high schools in the entire U.S. for such programs.
“We’re so humbled to and honored to be nominated, its huge for our school and for all of our students, nobody realizes the hours they put in dedicating to plan things, plan fun socials, even this summer they’ve been working all summer welcoming new students.”
National winners in each school level were announced and in a Zoom session Wednesday with First Lady Jill Biden.
Although Burkburnett did not take home team of the year, Osborn said just being one of the top three is a win in her book.
For more information on Burkburnett’s Student 2 Student program for military families who are new to the area, click here.