Six-year-old Jonathan Baptiste jams on an inflatable guitar while his mother, Maj. Mona Baptiste, Academic and Technology Support Directorate, Command and General Staff College, takes a video of his performance at a prop photo booth at the Children's Festival April 8, 2017, at Harney Sports Complex. April is Month of the Military Child. File photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp
Six-year-old Jonathan Baptiste jams on an inflatable guitar while his mother, Maj. Mona Baptiste, Academic and Technology Support Directorate, Command and General Staff College, takes a video of his performance at a prop photo booth at the Children's Festival April 8, 2017, at Harney Sports Complex. April is Month of the Military Child. File photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp
(Photo Credit: File photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp)
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FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kansas -- April is Month of the Military Child and, because of COVID-19 precautions, the Fort Leavenworth community will be celebrating the month virtually.

MOMC was established in 1986 by then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger. Since then, it has been celebrated at military installations throughout the United States.

Fort Leavenworth has been celebrating MOMC since 1988.

“The month of April provides an opportunity to recognize and honor the service of our youngest heroes: military children,” said Amanda Buckingham, Child and Youth Services school liaison officer. “The designation of April as the Month of the Military Child acknowledges the significant role military children and youth play in our communities. They are resilient and take pride in their service to our country.

“Although we may not gather for large-scale, community-wide events, we must still recognize the military youth in our community and their sacrifices,” she said.

Dad Loren Schmidt watches 4-year-old Riley, 9-year-old Evelyn and 6-year-old Danica balance sports balls as they make their way toward a relay finish line where mom Air National Guard Maj. Angie Schmidt, Command and General Staff Officer Course student, and 2-year-old Madelyn wait during the Family Fun Inflatable Challenge April 27, 2019, at Doniphan Field. April is Month of the Military Child. File photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp
Dad Loren Schmidt watches 4-year-old Riley, 9-year-old Evelyn and 6-year-old Danica balance sports balls as they make their way toward a relay finish line where mom Air National Guard Maj. Angie Schmidt, Command and General Staff Officer Course student, and 2-year-old Madelyn wait during the Family Fun Inflatable Challenge April 27, 2019, at Doniphan Field. April is Month of the Military Child. File photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp (Photo Credit: File photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp) VIEW ORIGINAL

CYS has several events planned.

• The Young Lives, Big Stories Contest is April 1-30. The contest is open to all Army-connected students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Entries will answer the question: “What does it mean to you to be a military child or youth?” Entries can be drawings, essays, poems or song lyrics. For more information and the entry form, visit www.armymwr.com/momc.

• The National Association for College Admission Counseling is offering two virtual college and career fairs April 10 and April 20. There is no cost, but registration is required. For more information, visit https://www.nacacfairs.org/virtual.

• CYS collaborated with Unified School District 207 for Spirit Week April 19-23. “Red, White and Blue” day is April 19. “Camo” day is April 20. “Sparkle and Shine” day is April 21. “Hero” day is April 22. “Purple Up” day, to represent all the branches of military service, is April 23.

• Operation Megaphone is April 22-24. The event is in partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to offer the first virtual military teen summit. The event will include guest speakers, interactive activities and discussions among youth about military teen issues, needs and interests. For more information, call Harrold Youth Center at 684-5118.

• CYS is partnering with the Combined Arms Research Library for special “Fan Favorites” videos of various CYS staff reading books chosen by children in the CYS program. Videos will be available on the CYS and CARL Facebook pages every Friday.

• The first week of April, CYS will host a Virtual Family Scavenger Hunt. Visit the CYS Facebook page for more information.

• In lieu of the annual Children’s Festival, CYS will hand out “Kids’ Fest in a Bag” goodie bags in mid-April.

“This is a collaborative project between agencies and partners to engage families in activities at home,” Buckingham said.

For more information on pick-up times, visit the Fort Leavenworth CYS Facebook page. Supplies are limited.

• The MOMC celebration will conclude the last week of April with a virtual art display featuring the artwork of CYS youth.

For more information on these MOMC activities and more, visit the CYS Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CYS.FtLeavenworth/ or the HYC Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/cys.ftlvnteencenter.