Ahead of a deployment to Afghanistan, more than 100 members of military police company stopped by Earl M. Lawson Elementary School Wednesday.
The 291st MP Company from Fort Leavenworth has "adopted" the elementary school in northeast Leavenworth. And this week, soldiers attended the school's community celebration that honored service.
"Today we want to honor the service of our men and women in uniform," Principal Laura Batson said Wednesday.
She said the school wanted to celebrate the service of the soldiers.
After members of the MP company entered the school's gym at the beginning of the assembly, 1st Sgt. Shawn Klosterman led students in a cadence which included included phrases about things such as working hard and passing tests.
Later during the assembly, members of the MP company joined teams of students and teachers to compete in games.
Batson said the MPs have helped the school in the past, volunteering their time for things such as field days and other activities. They've also performed school supply drives for the children at Lawson.
"They have been so generous with their time and resources," the principal said.
Klosterman said one of the best things about the soldiers' interaction with students is making the children smile and laugh.
"I think the biggest thing is seeing how they react," he said.
Members of the company, which is part of the 40th MP Internment and Resettlement Battalion, will be deploying soon for detainee operations in Afghanistan. Klosterman said they won't return until sometime next year.
Batson said Lawson students will be writing to the soldiers during the deployment and sending care packages.
Others also were honored during Wednesday's assembly including Phyllis Bass, director of the Richard Allen Cultural Center and Museum.
She said the children have been good neighbors; the museum is located near the school.
Bass said Mr. Earl M. Lawson, who was an educator, "would be so proud that you are doing so well in this school that's named after him."
She also said many of the soldiers who were at the school Wednesday tutor children at the Richard Allen Cultural Center and Museum.