F.A.R.M.

Gainesville Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief Alan Bryan reads a Time Magazine alongside Braxton Bermea in Shawna Koerner’s 3rd grade classroom at Chalmers Elementary on Wednesday.

Members of Gainesville Fire-Rescue are more than just firemen to students at Gainesville Independent School District, they are mentors. 

Gainesville firefighters visit Chalmers Elementary for two hours twice a month as part of the Firemen As Role Models program. 

They walk the halls, sit down at desks and partake in classroom activities with students who teachers feel might need an “extra push,” said Gainesville Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief Alan Bryan.

On Wednesday morning Bryan read an article about volcanoes alongside other students in Shawna Koerner’s 3rd grade classroom. 

“We want the kids to realize there is always an adult out there to help,”said Bryan.

Bryan said he and Division Chief Jason James started the mentorship program after learning of a similar program in Greenville. 

While the  F.A.R.M. program is in its first year at Chalmers, it’s been going strong at Edison Elementary for about five years now, officials said. 

Chalmers Elementary Principal Brittenie Polk said she thinks it’s a great program for Gainesville ISD. 

“They (firemen) provide that male role model for any student who may be struggling in the classroom,”Polk said. “It gives kids an incentive of ‘if I do good in school, look what I can be.’ We really appreciate the firemen that take time out of their day to impact our students."