By Air Force Maj. Nicholas J. Sabula
Defense Media Activity
Throughout the month of April, the Department of Defense is recognizing the important role military children play as part of the military family.
As we continue into the second half of Month of the Military Child, we’re highlighting a variety of different stories based on areas of focus, intertwined with some big program announcements:
Robert L. Gordon III, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Military Community and Family Policy) started the month with an overview of important information affecting military children.
From there, we started the month looking at some of the developmental aspects of raising a child:
Every location is marking the month in their own way, including Fort Bragg, where about 600 children from installation Child Development Centers participated in a Volksmarch.
The second week put an emphasis on education, to include some of the great learning experiences children of service members stationed overseas are receiving in the Department of Defense Educational Activity.
Reading is an important aspect of children’s education and a program at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, called Reach Out and Read provides books and advice to parents in promoting its benefits of promoting early literacy.
Third and fourth grade students from the RAF Feltwell Elementary School in the United Kingdon spent a morning reading books they both wrote and illustrated, telling the stories of their heroes, many of whom were their parents in or out of uniform.
At Wetzel Elementary School in Baumholder, Germany, military children are learning math in a fun atmosphere.
As the Military Child of the Year Awards presented by Operation Homefront April 7 gave recognition to children from each of the services, an event April 14 presented by Our Military Kids recognized National Guard and Reservist children as Military Kids of the Year. One of those was 10-year-old Tristan Fissette.
Finally, the First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden helped launch a military family support campaign called “Joining Forces.”
This week we take a look at some of the health and science aspects involving a military child.
With the out-of-this-world planned Space Shuttle launch and pre-launch summit on Meeting America’s Commitment to Military Families week rescheduled to April 29, there is still plenty of coverage coming your way.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math are the name of the game for students during a recent Office of Naval Research robotics competition.
Robotics competitions also draw teams from DoD Dependent Schools, including one team from Wiesbaden, Germany, who competed in the 2011 FIRST Robotics tournament in Las Vegas, Nev. The students of Wiesbaden high school traveled roughly 5,000 miles. FIRST stands for inspiration and recognition of science and technology.
With an emphasis on healthy kids, April 19 will feature a Blogger’s Roundtable with Barbara A. Thompson, Director, Office of Family Policy/Children and Youth Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Military Community and Family Policy), talking about First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign.
April 21 is a Bloggers Roundtable on Operation Give a Hug, a program supporting military children through deployments.
Friday will be yet another post from the series of children’s essays by Military Kids Speak. Keep checking back for more stories throughout the month.
Looking for more great coverage of military children?
Soldiers magazine has a kids focus for April with a number of stories of interest.