In an effort to recognize the service and personal sacrifice military children make, April has been designated as the Month of the Military Child. In 1986, then Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger recognized that military family members, especially military kids, were an integral part of a service member’s ability to perform his or her duties at home and abroad.
With Coronado’s close connection to the military, Village Elementary and Silver Strand Elementary schools have enacted a variety of programs to support and honor our local military kids.
Silver Strand Elementary’s 2015 theme is “Day and Night, Our Love is Tight!” with a focus on the many ways military families keep their love strong during times of separation. The school’s newest endeavor is the partnership with United Though Reading (UTR), making Silver Strand Elementary the first school to implement the program. The program offers military parents who are deployed or getting ready to deploy the opportunity to film themselves reading a book and recording messages to their children. The filming, which is private, takes place in Silver Strand’s Military Connections room. The United Through Reading program helps create everyday moments throughout separations and also establishes children’s literacy skills and a love of reading. Silver Strand will also implement this program in reverse, allowing children to read to their parents as a celebration of reaching their reading milestones.
Silver Strand’s military-based environmental club, Green Team, is also conducting several decorating projects. In addition, Silver Shore News will be distributing the first edition of the military student-led publication for the year. Other events and activities throughout the month include deployment-themed puppet shows performed by the Munch Bunch group, stories in the library about the power of love, weekly crafts and games at Military Kids Club, and the beginning of the Operation Pals session, an afterschool program designed after Operation Bigs to serve Kindergarten and First grade military kids.
Silver Strands 5th grade ambassadors also developed a welcome video for incoming military students. The purpose of the video is to welcome new students and relieve any fears children may have in moving to a new school. Additionally, all grade levels are participating in the making of a video to show their appreciation for all military parents.
Military spouses are also invited to attend the monthly Military Voyager Coffee, which is also held in the Military Connections Room. This month’s session, which is schedule for April 21st at 8:30 am, will focus on Healthy Family Communication.
Village Elementary School is also celebrating and honoring their military students for their contributions to their military families. Active duty parent volunteers will read a story and answer questions about military life to K, 1st and 2nd grade students during their library time. Visiting service members from various local commands as well as CMS students from the Student2Student club will join all grades each Thursday for fun lunchtime activities during Military Kids Club. Service members will also join grades 3-5 in their PE classes throughout the month.
Navy Region Southwest is hosting Rooftop Movie Night at the North Island Navy Lodge on April 24th where families are invited for a showing of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Free hot dogs, drinks and popcorn will be provided. The event is limited to the first 75 people to RSVP. Please contact Amiee Gillig, School Liaison Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. On April 18th, a My Sailor, My Hero coloring event will take place at the North Island Navy Exchange from 12-2 pm with kids activities, coloring, crafts and light refreshments.
While April takes a special focus on the triumphs and challenges of being a military family, the need for resources and support lasts the whole year through. Military families who are preparing for an upcoming deployment, who have recently transferred, are caring for a sick child or other unique circumstances are eligible for assistance with child care each month through the Navy’s Child and Youth Programs. “Give Parents a Break” offers 16 hours per month of hourly childcare based on eligibility and availability. For more information, please visit http://navylifesw.com/sandiego/families/cyp/parentinformation/.
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