ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — April 1, 2008 — The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) joins the Department of Defense and military communities worldwide in celebrating April as The Month of the Military Child.
Sponsored by the Department of Defense's Military Community and Family Policy, the Month of the Military Child is a time to applaud military families and their children for the daily sacrifices they make and challenges they overcome. The observance is part of the legacy left by former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger who established the Defense Department commemoration in 1986.
"Military children assume some special responsibilities that deserve our understanding and recognition, said Dr. Joseph Tafoya, DoDEA Director. "As members of military families who accompany active duty members to assignments around the globe, military children endure hardships and reap rewards that make them unique and important in American society. As Americans, we should all take notice of the unique role that military children, some of the most deserving youth in America, play in our society."
Department of Defense (DoD) schools are part of the wide community support network available to families.
"DoDEA teachers and staff are uniquely positioned to appreciate the military child," said Tafoya. "Our mission is to provide an exemplary education that inspires and prepares all DoDEA students for success in a dynamic, global environment."
Tafoya is well-aware of the unique challenges military children face and wants families to know DoDEA will be a constant in their lives.
"We know that military children face many obstacles unique to their situation, such as having a parent deployed for extended periods of time and moving frequently," he said. "Deployments and family separations can be stressful times for children. Our schools link deployed parents and students by email and other technologies. Our most important contribution is to remain focused on the educational mission and provide a stable environment for the children in our schools especially during these times of stress."
Throughout the month, DoDEA will encourage schools to plan special events to honor military children and have administrators and principals incorporate the themes of this month into their every day duties and responsibilities. These efforts and special events will stress the importance of providing children with quality services and support to help them succeed in the mobile military lifestyle.
DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages the education programs for DoD dependents who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality public education. DoDEA consists of the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) located overseas, and the Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) located in the United States and its territories and possessions. DoDEA provides education to eligible DoD military and civilian dependents from pre-kindergarten through grade 12.