Updated March 27 at 4:27pm

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Cranston schools selected as finalist for ‘Freedom Award’

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ARLINGTON, Va. – The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a U.S. Department of Defense Office, has selected the Cranston Public Schools as a finalist for the 2013 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award.

The award is the DoD’s highest recognition for employers that give exceptional support to employees serving in the National Guard and Reserve.

A review board comprised of military and civilian leaders selected 30 finalists from a pool of 2,899 nominations submitted by National Guard and Reserve Service members earlier this year.

According to the DoD release, finalists distinguished themselves by implementing both formal policies and informal initiatives that go “above and beyond” in assisting and encouraging National Guard and Reserve service.

The Cranston Public Schools were nominated by a member of the Army Reserve and reported supporting their nominator by keeping in contact with his family during mobilization through personal visits and phone calls, as well as offering support in “times of need.”

The school system also allowed the nominator extra time to submit his lesson plans when he had to attend weekend Reserve drills.

Cranston Public Schools promote respect for the military in many of their school-wide activities, according to the DoD, including encouraging students to prepare care packages for deployed Guardsmen and Reservists.

“The 2013 Freedom Award finalists demonstrate the type of outstanding support our National Guard and Reserve Service members count on when answering the nation’s call to serve,” Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve National Chair James G. Rebholz said in a statement.

“These employers recognize the valuable role they play in the lives of our Citizen Warriors; and in supporting these men and women, the finalists have made a critical contribution to our national security,” said Rebolz, adding: “On behalf of ESGR and the DoD, I want to thank each of the 2013 finalists for their extraordinary support.”

A national selection board comprised of senior DoD officials, business leaders and prior awardees will select the 15 2013 Freedom Award recipients early this summer.

Winners will be honored at the 18th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award ceremony in Washington on Sept. 26.

DoD, department of defense, cranston public schools, defense employer support freedom award, national guard, reserve

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