Month of the Military Child
Throughout the nation and commonwealth educators and communities will take time in April to recognize the contributions of children whose parents serve in the military. Frequent moves, family separations through deployments, and reintegration following deployments can make school, home, and community-life challenging for military children. Yet, even in such circumstances, these students continually demonstrate resilience and courage.
VDOE encourages schools to use this collection of resource materials and ideas in planning their own Month of the Military Child activities throughout April. Governor McAuliffe has issued a certificate of recognition proclaiming April 2017 as the Month of the Military Child, a special time to celebrate and honor our military-connected children and their families. Additionally, the Virginia Board of Education issued a resolution commemorating April 2017 as the Month of the Military Child at its meeting March 23, 2017.
Video Message from the First Lady of Virginia, Mrs. Dorothy McAuliffe
Mrs. McAuliffe is a passionate advocate for making Virginia the most welcoming state for military families and veterans. She has recorded a video message for students to kick off the commonwealth’s observance of April as the Month of the Military Child. We encourage schools to play the First Lady’s inspiring message during school announcements or other student assemblies in April.
Customized Certificate of Recognition (PDF)
Service members are often recognized with certificates and medals for their outstanding service, and now children will be able to hang their own certificate of recognition along with those of their parents. VDOE has created a certificate of recognition which schools can download, customize with the name of a military student, print, and present to military-connected students at a Month of the Military Child assembly, luncheon, or other recognition event. The signatures on the certificate represent the important partnership between our military leaders and schools.
“Wall of Honor” Recognition
Schools are encouraged to display a “Wall of Honor” as a visual depiction of the school’s military student population. These bulletin boards typically display pictures of military-connected students, or different color graphics (based on military branch) representing the number of military students in the school.
“Purple Up! For Military Kids” Day (PDF)
Across the State, Friday, April 21, 2017, will be the day to “Purple Up! For Military Kids.” We encourage the entire school community – teachers, principals, students, parents, bus drivers, etc. – to wear purple on April 17 to show support for our military students and appreciation for their strength and sacrifices. Purple represents the blending of the colors of the five branches of our armed forces. Here in Virginia, we are proud to be home to Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, National Guard and Reserve families. VDOE has provided flyers to display in your school for the Purple Up! celebration
“Share Your Story” Project
Whether a military dependent yourself, classmate, friend, or neighbor of a military student, we are all impacted by the military community in Virginia. VDOE encourages teachers to incorporate Month of the Military Child recognitionin their instruction by having students share their military-connection story through the visual arts, creative writing, musical composition, poetry, etc.
VDOE encourages schools to share their Purple Up! and Month of the Military Child photos by using the hashtag #PurpleUpVirginia on social media. VDOE will be reposting your efforts on our various social media platforms.
Photos and/or descriptions of your activities can also be sent to Dan Dunham, military family education liaison, at firstname.lastname@example.org, for sharing with the Virginia Council on the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.
In addition to the materials provided above, the Military Child Education Coalition provides numerous resources through their Month of the Military Child Tool Kit.