Do You Know About These Resources for Military Kids?
Military kids are my heroes.
Through a life not of their choosing, they show us firsthand every day how remarkable they are. We know they're not perfect—they're kids, after all—but military "brats" are a special breed. They tend to be adaptable, worldly, and well-traveled.
During my own military kids' growing up years, a PCS move was a time of adventure. A recently emptied base housing unit became the perfect foil for their unique brand of "wall ball." They made fast friends with the other neighborhood milkids when we arrived at a new base. Coming into a new community, new church, and new classes meant opportunities for more friends. They also seemed to notice other kids who were new and alone and reached out regularly.
But as the years went by, and the moves along with separations from their dad through deployments and training only increased, it became apparent that military life, in spite of our best efforts at staying positive, did indeed take a toll. We were lucky to have a supportive community, along with local resources oriented to military families. The saying "it takes a village" about raising children is never truer than when it comes to military life.
Thankfully, these days there's more support than ever for military kids, so today we're highlighting a few resources. And if you don't see your favorite program or resource here, please let us know about it in the comments, and we may add it to our list!
Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC)
Education support for military kids with a mission of "inclusive, quality educational opportunities for all military-connected children affected by mobility, transition, deployments and family separation."
Seasons of My Military Student
From military spouses Amanda Trimillos, EdD, and Stacy Allsbrook-Huisman, a website and education resource book for military families of school-aged students and their teachers.
Meg Flanagan Education Solutions
Military spouse, mom, teacher, and author of the book, Talk to the Teacher, Meg offers numerous resources for military families including a free consult, education coaching, advocacy, and free resources.
Related: A Back-to-School Guide for Military Families.
Resources for Deployment or Separation from Parent
The Comfort Crew for Military Kids
A non-profit providing supportive resources and programs for military kids, including "Comfort Kits."
Originally known as "Daddy Dolls", you'll find custom comfort items created for military kids, using a photo you provide.
United Through Reading
A non-profit connecting separated military families through story time (parent recorded on video reading aloud a child's favorite book). Check with your command to see if they're already connected with this free program.
Resources for PCS Moves
Youth Sponsorship Program
Ease the moving transition through connecting kids with a peer before you even arrive. This program is administered by school and youth services programs at local installations. Learn more in our post, Ease the PCS Transition with the Youth Sponsorship Program.
Student 2 Student Program from Military Education Coalition
An initiative from MCEC, the Student 2 Student connects military and civilian children with a goal of providing a welcome for new military kids and easing transitions.
Military Kids Connect
Created by Military OneSource, an interactional program for kids of all ages, along with resources for military parents. It addresses stresses for military kids, including PCS moves and many other topics.
Other Resources for Military Kids and Parents
Mil Mom Adventures
Info and insight on kid-friendly adventures, encouraging family time to build resilience.
Operation Purple Camp
From the National Military Family Association, a free week of camp for military children to connect with other military kids and receive support.
Operation We Are Here
Extensive list of resources for military kids and teens, covering topics such as suggested books, camps and programs, EFMP resources, family-friendly activities and more.
Sign up your child to connect with another military child as a pen pal. Created by military spouse Brunella Costagliola and her husband Michael Gosselin, featuring stationery illustrated by Disney theme park designer and illustrator Valerio Mazzoli.