A multitude of resources for our military kids
Hello military community,
As summer is winding down and military families are PCSing and getting ready to go back to school, I feel this summer went to fast and wish it would last just a little bit longer. Our military kids are strong and resilient, but it is important for fellow students, teachers and communities to understand that they may be facing special circumstances and challenges.
Some military kids are well traveled and have lived in different countries, and many have attended more than one school. Perhaps your child has just moved and now has to start over at a new school and make new friends. Or they may have a parent who just left on deployment, returned home, is wounded or, worst of all, they may be coping with the loss of a parent or loved one.
With these thoughts in mind, I wanted to share with you some awesome resources the Department of Defense and number of nonprofit organizations provide for our military kids. A couple of these I have personally used.
- The Department of Defense and each branch of service has a myriad of resources and programs for military kids and their parents: Military Youth on the Move, Military OneSource and Exceptional Family Member Resources.
- Operation Homefront (www.operationhomefront.net) is honored to be able to provide backpacks and school supplies to military families. Supplies are limited and are on a first-come, first-serve registration process.
- Our Military Kids (www.ourmilitarykids.org) provides grants for children of deployed National Guard and Reserve members and wounded warriors to pursue sports, fine arts, camps and tutoring programs. Applications are accepted year round.
- Military Child Education Coalition (www.militarychild.org) focuses on ensuring quality educational opportunities for all military children affected by mobility, family separation and transition. The MCEC performs research, develops resources, conducts professional institutes and conferences for teachers and school administrators and parents, and develops and publishes resources for all constituencies.
- The Armed Services YMCA (www.asymca.org) runs a wide range youth programs through their chapters and affiliates near or on installations throughout the country.
- The USO and Sesame Street are continuing the Sesame Street Experience for Military Families tour (www.uso.org/sesame). The performance showcases the power of friendship when Elmo and his Sesame Street pals help Katie open up about her fears and excitement as she deals with moving to a new place and making new friends. The show comprises a fun-filled character performance with special giveaways and outreach materials for those who attend. Since its debut in July 2008, the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families has taken its message to thousands of troops and military families and performed over 400 shows all over United States and in eleven different countries.
- Blue Star Families, in partnership with Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.), encourages families to use the power of reading for positive impact through their Books on Bases program (bluestarfam.org/Programs/Books_on_Bases), which provides books to installation libraries, DOD schools and DOD impacted schools. Additionally, Blue Star Families’ Mil Kidz Club (bluestarfam.org/milkidz-club) offers military kids opportunities to attend special events and share their experiences with their peers.
In partnership with Blue Star Families, the USO Metro provides support to the large military population in the National Capital Area. The Me and A Friend program allows military kids to attend sporting and other fun entertainment events with a friend. Additionally, USO Metro holds events like deployed family fun days, and offers military kids a chance to walk in their parents’ shoes and learn valuable team building and leadership skills through Operation Basic Bootcamp.
- Don’t forget Tutor.com (www.tutor.com/military) which is funded by the Department of Defense MWR Library Program, Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program and Navy General Library Program, Tutor.com offers free tutoring for military families. Get homework and study help from a professional tutor any time you need it – 24/7 on as many as 16 different subject matters. And they even have an app!
Please email me any concerns or questions regarding any topic.
Blessings from my family to yours,
If you have any questions or concerns or would like to share a story or situation, contact me at Kim@MilitaryResourceBooks.com and visit my website at MilitaryResourceBooks.com for updated information and other resources not listed in my book.