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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Operation Military Kids

The deployment of American soldiers has affected many communities.  What we may not think about is the families - the children - of these service men and women.  Any time a parent is separated from their children can be emotionally difficult.  When you add risk factors and extended time it makes for a very turbulent time.

As a teacher I may see the stress from these students come out in many ways.  If I am not aware of the back story (Mom or Dad is deployed) I may not be able to offer this student the support they need.  Families of Active Duty soldiers are more aware of what resources are available to them.  Families of Reserve or National Guard Units may not initially know about Family Support Services that are available.

One resource that many people may not know about is "Operation: Military Kids".  OMK is the Army's program to support children and youth affected by deployment of their family members.  The military is partnering with community resources to support and enhance the life of these students.  They are encouraging schools and teachers and 4-H to be an active part in this program. Many states offer professional development through this program.

One of the programs offered is the Mobile Technology Lab - students learn about technology as they communicate with deployed family, learn to make podcasts and how to use other equipment.  In 2009 - this program was active in 49 states and the District of Columbia.  You can click on this link to find out about current events and contact information. The MTL (Mobile Tech Lab) is available for all OMK partners working with military children.  Our kids need support and with your involvement they can get it.


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