Copperas Cove Five Hills royalty salute military families at back-to-school event

Special to Leader-Press

Andrew gave three carrots each to Fred, Isabella, and Albert. How many carrots did Andrew give out in all?
This was one of many questions that children and their parents answered at CCISD’s Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? booth at the Operation Homefront Backpack Giveaway in Killeen on Saturday.  The Copperas Cove Five Hills manned the booth encouraging participants as they answered math and science STAAR questions at the third, fourth and fifth grade levels. 
Preteen Miss Five Hills Kaydence Roberts said it was rewarding to meet so many other military children just like her.
“The kids were very serious while answering the questions,” Roberts said. “I even had to get down on the floor with one of them as she was really concentrating.  They shouted and were happy when they won and loved picking a prize that could also be used at school.”
As the participants passed each test and moved to the next grade level, CCISD provided prizes such as blue and gold pencils, Bulldawg bracelets, cheer towels, and retractable identification pulls. 
Young Miss Five Hills Angelica Torres and Copperas Cove Five Hills Ambassador Briana Liles spent the Friday before the event helping stuff 500 backpacks with school supplies. 
“It was so rewarding serving the military and showing them gratitude for all the sacrifices, especially when you see the children’s smiles and excitement when they receive a backpack and just enjoy the event,” Torres said. 
The titleholders also hosted the booth, Try on My Tiara, where people of all ages are able to try on the royalty’s crowns and imagine themselves as kings and queens.
Junior Mister Five Hills Jackson Gibbs was honored to share his crown with military children.
“Military men, women, and their families give up a lot to protect our country,” the first grader said. “I liked seeing all the families have fun together at our booths. Even some of the dads tried on my crown.”
Torres could relate all of the children as she gently placed her crown on their heads.
“When little girls try on my crown and tell me how excited they are to be able to experience it, I feel so honored, as a military child myself, to be able to volunteer and give back to the military because it is very important to me,” Torres said.
Roberts could not agree more strongly.
“I loved the smiles on the girls’ faces when they tried on our crowns and learned about the pageant and all the great community service we get to do,” Roberts said. “Some even said they want enter next year.”
Junior Miss Five Hills Hayley Sawyer is also a military dependent and said she knows it can be difficult going into new schools.
“It felt amazing knowing that all of the military kids who tried to be smarter than a fifth grader succeeded and built up their confidence by trying on our crowns,” the 8-year old said. “Their happy faces made it totally worth it all the way. All of them deserve to be royalty.”  

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