GREAT FALLS — As students from Malmstrom Air Force Base arrived to the Early Learning Family Center in Great Falls on Monday to kick off the new school year, they were greeted by airmen from Malmstrom, including the base commander, celebrating what the school district and the base will be a new long-term partnership.
With a cheerful voice and friendly smile, Great Falls Public Schools' superintendent and Malmstrom Air Force Base's commander stood next to each other and welcomed students from the base as they got off the school bus to begin a new transitional kindergarten program.
"We've been partnering with (the) Great Falls Public School District and superintendent Moore, specifically, has done a tremendous job of just helping us get to something that's vitally important,” Malmstrom Air Force Base Commander Col. Barry Little said.
After serving as the welcoming committee, the superintendent, Little, and a few other Malmstrom officials took a tour of the Early Learning Family Center.
"One of the things we know about serving our military families here at Malmstrom is that when their children are well cared for, well taken care of,they don't have to have that stress and concern when they're out in the missile field or on a mission. So we strive to serve the families here at Malmstrom to the very best of our ability,” Superintendent Tom Moore said.
Moore explained that the transitional kindergarten program was created because early childhood education was identified as a need in the community.
He estimated about 20 kids would be going through the program during the 2022-2023 school year.
"We had to make some adjustments and reallocate some resources that were within our budget and we got creative,” said Moore.
"For us, education is critical to military readiness. Our families move around a lot and we want to make sure we're providing them a consistent foundation for the learning for their children,” said Little.
Even though this collaboration was just beginning the school district was already looking head, thinking about ways to expand the program.
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