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CCS Celebrates Military Families at First "Kids Serve, TOO! Military Appreciation Ball

April 19, 2024

Last evening, Cumberland County Schools (CCS) proudly hosted its inaugural "Kids Serve, TOO! Military Appreciation Ball", recognizing the sacrifices of military-connected students and their families during the Month of the Military Child. Held at the Cumberland Crown Arena, the event was a  celebration filled with gratitude and community spirit.

The night was also one of reflection and excitement, including inspirational speakers, dancing and fellowship as well as families taking time to pose for photographs, creating lasting memories of the occasion.

This special Purple Up! Event, drew significant participation totaling more than 200 middle school students across the district, as well as eighth grade students from Albritton Middle School.

CCS' Executive Director of Student Services Dr. Natasha Scott expressed thoughts about the event's turnout. "The success of the first Kids Serve, TOO! Military Appreciation Ball reflects our ongoing commitment to supporting the unique needs of military-connected students and their families. We are proud to honor their contributions and sacrifices with such a meaningful celebration."

Notable speakers during the Military Appreciation Ball shared the following remarks about being a military-connected student: 

  • "We also share the burden of serving our country, and for that, I thank all of the kids here for their sacrifices too," said Tristan Felin, a military-connected student from Jack Britt High School.
  • "Growing up in a military family can be a rewarding and enriching experience, but it can be a challenging way to grow." said SGM USA Retired Ruby Murray, a JROTC instructor at South View High School.
  • " face so many challenges from having to overcome so many obstacles at such a young age," said CPT Justin Ross, the commander of the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, US Army Garrison Fort Liberty

During the program, Gray's Creek High School Navy JROTC presented the Colors, followed by the singing of the National Anthem by CCS' Military Family and Youth Liaison Zakira Rich and greetings from Reginald Fields, who is also a CCS Military Family and Youth Liaison. Sherron Evans, a counselor from South View Middle School, shared the history of the military ball and her school's chorus performed several musical selections.

Dr. Melody Chalmers McClain, CCS' Associate Superintendent of Student Support Services brought greetings on behalf of CCS Superintendent Dr. Marvin Connelly, Jr,. "To our military-connected students, I want you to know that your strength, determination and adaptability inspire us all. Your experiences enrich our school community and we are grateful for the unique perspectives you bring to our classrooms each day."


CCS students and families in the serving lineCCS military-connected middle school students dancingSouth View Middle School chorus performs during the military appreciation ball