WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii - We know how important children's education is to the readiness and well-being of Army families, so several resources are available to Army families to assist in their child's education.

One of the resources I want to emphasize is the School Liaison Office, or SLO, a branch of Child, Youth and School Services. The SLO coordinates and assists Army families and school-age youth with educational opportunities and information necessary to achieve academic success.

SLO is the point of contact for facilitating the delivery of quality school transitions, assisting parents and easing the impact of the mobile military lifestyle on children's academic progress. The SLO serves in a communication and assistance role between the school system and military families.

The goals of the SLO program are to identify barriers to academic success and develop solutions, to promote parental involvement in their children's education, to develop and coordinate an Army partnership in education, to provide parents with the tools they need to overcome education obstacles that stem from the military lifestyle, and to educate local communities and schools regarding the needs of military families.

SLO created a program that informs school personnel about the military lifestyle. The Military Culture Course is designed for Department of Education and community caregivers to learn about the effects of deployments on families. In recent months, the course has been presented at the Nehelani and the Hale Ikena - with many accolades.

Another successful joint effort involving our SLO is the Partnerships in Education initiative through the School Partnership Program. Through this initiative, and in collaboration with the Joint Venture Education Forum and the military-impacted schools' military unit commander, much-needed school products are purchased with JVEF funds.

Homeschooled children are also supported through SLO, and they are regularly invited to participate in classes at SLO facilities at Schofield Barracks. Occasionally, science and physical education classes are held for larger groups, while other homeschooled children enjoy computer and dance classes.

The educational experience of our military children is critical and of the utmost importance. Therefore, the relationship between schools and military families needs to be nurtured and enhanced constantly. Through collaborative efforts with the DOE, parents and military, the military child becomes the recipient of a good education while in Hawaii.

School liaisons are a valuable asset for you, and I encourage you to use them fully.

For more information on School Support Services, including the School Liaison Office, call 808-655-9818.

Page last updated Tue October 12th, 2010 at 13:50