In which Brianna details real ways teachers can make an impact in the lives of military kids, whether they have any in their classroom or not.
Teachers, this one is for you! Did you know that here in the United States, April is the Month of the Military Child? You’re probably thinking (if I dare to guess) “That’s awesome! I imagine Military Kids have unique challenges, and deserved to be thanked for the sacrifices they make.” And you’re right. Then you might think “But I don’t have any military kids in my class, so there isn’t anything I can do.” And that’s where you’re wrong.
According to the Military Child Education Coalition, the number of children whose parents are active duty, reservists or veterans stands at two million strong. Only 2% of their school-aged kids attend military (DODEA) schools. Chances are, you’re more likely to have military-connected kids in your class than you think. Military-connected children include those whose family includes someone who is or was a member of our armed forces, either as active duty or a reservist. Many active duty families will live on or very near a base, and you know if you’re in one of those areas. But some families are on special duties away from a base, or their family has chosen to remain in a civilian community for one of many reasons (usually physically separated from their service member). Also, we can’t forget that there are reservists and veterans in every community, and even though those designations sound pretty low-key, that isn’t necessarily the case. I’ve known reservists who have deployed several times more than a lot of active duty troops. Likewise, a veteran who has separated from the military will often have interactions with the military and be dealing with medical issues as a result of their service. Their family members take on the role of caretakers to varying degrees. If your community is composed primarily of immigrants or children of immigrants, do not assume that they have no affiliation with the military, either. Green Card holders can get their citizenship fast-tracked upon completing basic training, and I met many families who speak little-to-no English in the home while I worked with the military.
Ariel and Brianna are friends who met while working in a library. Now they collaborate to develop life-enhancing book club experiences.
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