Serving the Children of Those Who Serve Us All

Posted March 27, 2014

From Military Child Education Coalition

Military-connected children and youth reflect pride in their parents; those who serve our nation. The children often speak with wisdom of the multiple deployments they have experienced and talk frankly how their behaviors changed during the absence of one or more parents. They want their family to be successful, and they want to do their part to help…but just like any other kid, they also want to fit in with their peers and not be different from everyone else.

The mission of the Military Child Education Coalition® (MCEC®) is to ensure quality educational opportunities for all military-connected children and youth affected by mobility, transition, and family separation. We support the nearly four million children of our Active Duty, National Guard, Reserves, and veterans. We prepare students to be successful in the multiple arenas of academics, relationships, and life-readiness.

We provide professional development training; programs and services; resources and tools; and pursue education policies and initiatives at the local, state, and national level that benefit military-connected children. We meet the needs of military-connected children and youth, their parents, and those who support military and veteran families, whether education professionals, local communities, or concerned individuals.

Our commitment to Got Your 6 is branded as Operation Educate the Educators and stands as a goal to educated 100,000 educators by December 2014 on the academic, social, and emotional needs of military-connected children. We are accomplishing this goal through a two-pronged approach:

1) We are a lead component of the White House’s Joining Forces education initiative and teamed with the American Association of Colleges for Teacher’s Education. Second Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, frequently cites this initiative as an effort to make a difference in the education arena on behalf of military-connected children and youth. We have thus far signed on 114 colleges and universities who agree to our “Guiding Principles” document. This commitment includes a pledge to create within their curriculum program instruction and training for future teachers on the academic, social, and emotional needs of military-connected children. Each graduate goes into the education arena with an understanding of the issues and challenges that the military-connected student may deal with while in the classroom and at home.

2) The second method is reaching the educators who are already in the field through our professional development instruction courses for teachers, counselors, and school administrators. These courses focus on topics that equip professionals in supporting children and youth through the challenges they may experience within a military family. Course instruction includes subjects such as caregiving, trauma and loss, cycles of deployment and separation, transition challenges, and building resilience skills.

Our progress has been consistent, and we’re on the glide path to success in obtaining our goal. Thus far, we have impacted over 93,500 education professionals, and we are on track to exceed the goal of 100,000 educators by December 2014.

Our success would not be possible without the grant aid and collaboration support of the Got Your 6 campaign. Got You 6 has funded several key elements of our efforts over the past two years and for that generosity, we are grateful.

Upon joining the Got Your 6 team, the Military Child Education Coalition was soon thereafter selected to be honoree and recipient of funds from the NBC summer show, Stars for Stripes, resulting in our receiving $30,000 from NBC. We immediately applied those funds towards one of our training programs for high schools. Most noteworthy, was the fact of our brand name, for the first time ever, receiving nation-wide exposure on television and subsequently our hearing from many first-time contacts based on the show.

Got Your 6 funding of $15,000 next allowed the MCEC to execute a student video competition program wherein schools from across the country who are members of our Student 2 Student program could submit videos for consideration. These videos, made by students, addressed topics such as 100% acceptance, what teachers should know about military-connected students, and how teachers can be role models for students. Winning videos were then provided to 115 military-connected school districts and over 100 colleges to inform education professionals on how they may best support their military-connected students. The winning schools also received monetary awards that they could then apply to their school programs.

Most recently, the MCEC began developing online training courses for educators who are unable to travel to training events during these times of budget constraints and cutbacks. These courses enable educators to learn strategies that help students address issues such as family separation and developing resilience. Through a generous grant of $238,000 from Got Your 6 and the Macy’s American Icons campaign, we are able field the first course and provide instruction at no cost to 720 educators. We just started the course in early 2014 and have already put over 100 educators through the training.

Since being founded over 15 years ago, the MCEC has a proven track record of excellence with over 90 cents of every dollar received going directly into programs of support for the children of our military and veteran families. Our initiatives reflect evidenced-based research with measurable results. We would not achieve the current impacts and outcomes without the phenomenal support of the Got Your 6 campaign.

Learn more about MCEC by visiting their website.