SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Research has shown Army dependent children attend on average seven to nine schools between kindergarten and 12th grade.

The focus of Parent to Parent, which is funded by the Department of the Army and falls under the Child, Youth and School Services, or CYSS umbrella, is to empower military parents to become their child's best educational mentor.

The Parent to Parent initiative provides timely and relevant information to enhance the knowledge of parents, and gives them the skills to be their child's best advocate, not only for immediate transitions but also throughout the child's school years.

More than 100,000 parents have been trained since the program began in 2006.

The Schofield Barracks Parent to Parent cadre is a team of selected individuals committed to the mission of serving and training parents of military-connected children by developing and presenting interactive, research-based workshops. They are authorized to present workshops at any school on Oahu that has a minimum Army dependent population of 25 percent enrollment.

These workshops are designed to help parents support their children's educational process. The team presents workshops that focus on varied objectives:
•the importance of early literacy;
•the benefits of open communication between students, parents and the school;
•how to prepare your child for kindergarten;
•stepping up to middle school;
•how to get the most from parent-teacher conferences;
•the educational benefits of cooking with your children;
•teaching children time management;
•effective techniques for test taking;
•how to avoid homework hassles;
•charting the educational course; and
•tips to make school transitions as smooth as possible, including transitions with special needs children.

The local Parent to Parent cadre partners with the CYSS School Liaison Office, here, to enhance outreach efforts in order to get transition assistance information to military families.

Military Child Education Coalition

Parent to Parent is a part of the the MCEC, a nonprofit, worldwide organization that is designed to provide positive leadership and military child advocacy. The organization's work is focused on ensuring quality educational opportunities for all military-connected children affected by mobility, family separation due to deployments and transition.

The MCEC performs research, conducts professional institutes and conferences, and develops and publishes resources for all constituencies.

In addition to workshops, the Parent to Parent team organizes MCEC's "Tell Me A Story" events," which empower children by using literature and children's own stories in a way that fosters resilience skills, strong peer and parent connections, a sense of pride and accomplishment, and a caring community.

These stories are intended to open family discussions on potentially difficult topics, including family separation, deployment, moving, grief and crisis.