Dr. Mary Keller: Hi! I am Dr. Mary Keller with Military Child Education Coalition and I am here to share simple ways that we can help children of military families thrive in school while their parents serve our country.
Imagine that you're back in 9th grade, it's your first day in a school, you've left all of your old friends behind this is your third move in just five years. Now imagine that in addition to all of that your dad has just been deployed to Afghanistan again. He left yesterday, are you ready to learn? There are nearly two million military connected children in the U.
S. today more than half or school age. You know simple acts of welcoming can make a huge difference for these children, while helping our schools perform better for all children.
Remember, military kids are just kids and for all students much success in school in work and life is a about positive connection and social engagement. There are certain keyways that we have seen how to help children who are the new kid make these positive connects as soon as possible.
For examples, moving transitions from school to school and state to state they, really does make a significant and positive impact. The interstate compact for military children now signed by over 40 states is making such a difference, still implementation is local, so it is essential to engage with district and campus leaders to institutionalize policies, procedures and practices, so that we are responsive to the range of needs for children and youth.
Your story and advocacy really will encourage schools and your community to adopt system to insure easy acceptance of transcript, program access and connection, which will help students thrive when they move and change schools. It's good for all kids to engage positively at a student to student level. Creating a buddy system provides opportunities for military and nonmilitary students to serve their schools and their community together.
These student to student connections are perfect for showing newcomers the ropes to achieving friendship, acceptance and attention, so that they don't feel isolated or shutout. This helps military children know that they too are accepted and are simulated into their school community.
The most important step is that parents and school faculty strive together to get all the positive piece in place before the new student arrives. Please do your part for these children stay to make sure schools welcome in simple, essential, positive connections, so that they fit in.