Workshop finds solutions to challenges facing military school children
February 9, 2010
USAG RED CLOUD, Republic of Korea - Parents meet at the education center here to participate in a seminar and workshop that focused on transition issues and transitional resources for children of military parents.
Given by the Military Child Education Coalition, and coordinated by Marie Johnson, U.S Army Garrison Red Cloud child and youth services coordinator, the Feb. 3 event was a must as "Military Families move an average of seven times in their lifetime," Johnson said. "We want parents to (assist) their children for smoother moves in the future."
The program opened with a personal address from Col. Larry 'Pepper' Jackson, commander of USAG Red Cloud.
"I am a product of the DoDDS school system," said Jackson. "My two children go to DoDDS schools in Yongsan."
Noting that this "is our first Parent-to-Parent meeting," the colonel said: "There have been tremendous changes in Area I. Who would ever think we would have an elementary school here' If someone asked me that question two years ago, I would have said no.
"We now have a school, which will open this year in August. It is a DoDDS-Korea school for kindergarten through eighth grade. We have a child development center, which also will open soon. We will have child and youth services here and at Casey; children will have something to do before and after school."
Wanting to address "the younger folks first," Jackson acknowledged "growing up in the Army has tremendous challenges."
"In the past, he said, "we did not have such things as Parent-to-Parent workshops, even though our parents wanted us to succeed as much as your parents do today."
The first in his family to attend college, Jackson told the young attendees: "My academic foundations started just as yours have done. It is hard ... because, unlike other students, you do not stay in the same community in your school years. It is hard because you will move to a new school and community every one to two years."
Jakcson explained to the students that participation by the Military Child Education Coalition will play a role in their future, "because you will benefit from their many years of experience with guiding military school children in their academic development."
"As you go into these breakout groups," he stressed, "take as much information as you can from the team because your graduation is quickly approaching."
Wanting to give their sons and daughters a head start on the road to academic success, parents of children from birth to 5 years of age discussed early-learning and developing plans to build literacy, science and math activities into fun activities around the house.
Parents of middle- and high-school students focused on a suggested curriculum that would ensure both an on-time graduation and a competitive resume for college applicants; importance of parents involvement in developing an academic plan; importance of course rigor; motivating students; skills necessary for success beyond high school; college application process; and transitioning issues specific to middle and high school students.