The crunch of leaves. That indefinable scent of newly sharpened pencils are wafting through the air.
Children across the country are heading back to school either in class or on-line learning!
While many of these students have known their classmates and teachers for years, military connected children might not. This years a little tougher on Military children, especially when moving to a new area and social distancing. Military Kids move, on average, every 2.5 years and are constantly getting settled into new schools and communities. This year there is a twist... Traditionally, Military Kids made friends in classrooms, this year they will be in on-line, hybrid and maybe eventually in a classroom setting, making it more difficult to be the new kid on the block.
Help Kids Of America's Heroes Settle In
When military families arrive in communities, they are often unsure of the next best steps for schools. Between finding a school, getting registered, and the start of the school year, it can be overwhelming.
A great way to help military and veteran families is with a welcome package specific to the school or community. Working with the school’s PTO/PTA and local businesses, create a helpful guide or folder stuffed with the must-know info about your town. Include important numbers, especially for the schools, as well as the locations of essentials (think: playgrounds, churches, supermarkets, town offices or schools). If you can, try to include welcome coupons from partnering local businesses.
Contact Kids of America’s Heroes if you need help finding ways to welcome military connected families into your community!
Teach the Teachers
By now, many military supporters and advocates know that these children come with unique needs and experiences.
Too often, teachers working with military connected children are unaware of their needs, experiences, and the best practices to support military families.
Before school starts, or during a teacher in-service day, is a great time to share information with teachers. Even a quick printable info sheet or a short presentation would go a long way to increasing support.
KOAH offers opportunities to help provide that education and support. Through strong community partnerships, KOAH can work to help support your efforts and assist communities welcoming military connected children.
See the Need
Families, military and civilian, come from all walks of life and economic backgrounds. Many military families are struggling to put food on the table, never mind pencils into backpacks or laptops with internet for distance learning.
As Kids Of America's Heroes are joining your community, try to see their need. Often local business and national chains will host back-to-school drives for school supply donations. If your family can donate to or support these efforts, this is a great way to build community connections!
Even donating a few notebooks or packs of pencils can make a huge difference for teachers and students.
Be a Friend
If you have a school aged child in a school with military connected children, reach out. Invite those parents to join the Zoom PTO/PTA. Sometimes just knowing that their children are welcome and their family is seen can be a huge help to military families.