By Jessica Crespo (Picatinny Arsenal Coordinator Child & Youth Services) and Eric Kowal (Picatinny Arsenal Public Affairs)
April is Month of the Military Child (MOMC) and Child and Youth Services (CYS) is celebrating by providing and participating in various activities and events.
Each year, the U.S. Army Installation Management Command (IMCOM) CYS comes out with a theme for MOMC and the theme for this year is, "Military Children and Youth: A Resilient Force in a Changing World.” Resilient is a word that is used a lot when describing military children and youth.
CYS plays an integral role in helping foster and build resilience among children/youth, staff, parents, and school personnel. The Ready and Resilient Program at Picatinny Arsenal CYS is headed by Master Resilience Trainer Amanda Dizinno. She provides workshops and experiential learning opportunities when feasible.
“The workshops are designed to help build resilience among those that attend,” Dizinno said. “The goal is to have those individuals become self-aware of their emotions/reactions and learn how to self-regulate in order to reach productive outcomes. I have facilitated multiple workshops for CYS staff and the feedback that I have received about the material is incredible. Days and weeks after the workshops, I’ve had staff tell me about how they were able to utilize and apply the skill that was taught, whether that be in a professional or a personal relationship.”
The core focus topics of these workshops help participants dive deep into what drives emotions and reactions in different situations. They also help participants effectively solve problems, optimize performance, stop catastrophic thinking, and how to use a strength based approach.
MOMC is also celebrated by organizations like Military One Source. Throughout the month of April, they will be offering some virtual events, as well as a “You’re Everything” initiative. The virtual events will be located on the Military One Source Facebook page and will have guest speakers that will discuss topics such as resilience, embracing change, staying connected, the power of connection, kindness, and journey to success.
The goal of the “You’re Everything” initiative is to shine a spotlight on military children/youth by allowing them the opportunity to share their experiences and highlighting those stories.
April 10-11, will be the Rock around the Block Event, which is a scavenger hunt for the children on base. April 26-30, CYS will have science, technology, engineering, and (STEM) kits available for parents to pick up, which will consist of STEM challenges that can be completed by families.
Earlier in the month Picatinny Arsenal residents were visited by the Bunny Bus and every child received a treat bag. Also, Picatinny CYS teamed up with CYS programs around the world to attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most virtual soccer passes.