April is the Month of the Military Child as we pay tribute to military families and their children for their daily sacrifices, commitment, and courage. Every April 15th is Purple Up! For Military Kids Day, and our public schools show support for military kids by encouraging everyone to wear purple.
Why purple? Purple symbolizes the joining of all military services by combining Army green, Air Force blue, Marine red, and Navy blue. Texas is home to Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, and National Guard families. Purple Up! Allows our military youth to visibly see support for them in our communities and schools.
Challenges for Military Youth
Military youth have unique challenges, including:
- Long and repeated separations from a parent
- Parents who must miss important events like birthdays, holidays, and school events
- Difficulties with state testing requirements and transfer of credits for graduation
- Frequent relocations involving having to make new friends and get familiar with new schools
Military Child and Family Support in School Districts
The Military Child Education Coalition sponsors the Student 2 Student program in several public school districts across the country. Student 2 Student allows for campus-based student ambassadors to welcome students of military families. The program aims to ease the challenges of transitioning into a new school by creating a positive environment.
In Fort Sam Houston ISD and many other San Antonio-area school districts, there are S2S programs in elementary, middle, and high schools. District events and activities are age-appropriate and year-round. MCEC trains the students to become ambassadors to learn how to support new students as they navigate their new school.
Military & Family Readiness Centers
The Joint Base San Antonio- Military & Family Readiness Centers provide a full range of programs and services to support families in mission readiness. These centers serve students within Fort Sam Houston ISD, Lackland ISD, and Randolph Field ISD.
One major function of the centers is connecting service members and their families with the resources to meet their specific needs on JBSA or in the local community. They offer a variety of training, workshops, and consultations to support military family needs.
Did You Know?
About 4 million children have parents in the military, the National Guard, or are post-9/11 veterans.
Military kids move an average of 6-9 times during their K-12 education.
Over 80 percent of students of military families attend public schools.
Children in military families are twice as likely as their civilian peers to enlist as adults.