April is designated as the Month of the Military Child, underscoring the important role military children play in the armed forces community. Sponsored by the Department of Defense 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 and the challenges they overcome.
DoDEA joins the Department of Defense and the military community in celebrating April as the Month of the Military Child. In DoDEA communities worldwide, our most essential strategic imperatives are establishing an educational system that progressively builds the college and career readiness of all DoDEA students and establishing the organizational capacity to operate more effectively and efficiently as a model, unified school system. We aim to challenge each student to maximize their potential and excel academically, socially, emotionally and physically for life, college and career readiness.
Throughout the month, DoDEA will encourage schools to plan special events to honor military children and have administrators and principals incorporate this month's themes into their everyday 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.
Wear purple on Purple Up Day - Wearing purple is a visible way for everyone to show support and thank military youth for their strength and sacrifices.
Web Site Feature - Schools can promote the Month of the Military Child on their web sites. Provide links to sites that offer resources for military families.
Publicize Installation/Community Events - Use the school newsletter to publicize Month of the Military Child events and activities hosted by the installation/community. Look for ways schools can contribute to these celebrations (setting up an information or activity booth, having teachers volunteer at events and activities, etc.).
Salute to Military Children at Sporting Events - Have the announcer make a special announcement before, during or after sporting events recognizing all military children. Have them raise the flag, sing the National Anthem or recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
Teachers Salute Military Children - Ask teachers at your school make a special project with their classes such as a picture frame, bookmark, journal, etc., that ties into the Month of the Military Child.
For more ideas - click 50 Ways to Celebrate Month of the Military Child
The life of a military-connected child is one of constant change. In addition to the typical stressors of being a kid, a military child faces a unique set of challenges, including separation during deployment and being relocated across the country – or even the world.
Being a military child means always having to adjust and adapt to an array of changes, and that’s not an easy task! Understanding how to support children during these challenges begins with paying close attention to their behavior and emotions and using available resources when needed. Help them realize what they are feeling and create a supportive environment to reconnect and share those feelings. Talking to someone is a critical first step toward wellness and resilience.
Below are several resources designed to guide parents on how to talk to children about their emotions and those of their friends. The mental health of our military children must be a priority today and every day.