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December 17, 2020 2 min read

This transiency often disrupts a military household kid's friendships, academic progress, and a sense of connectedness. School leaders can make sure that throughout the time army kids are in their schools - however short that time -those students have a feeling of stability and security and remain on course toward graduation.  Here are 5 things college leaders can do to construct connections:

1. Grow a welcome packet for military kids.

Include information about the mission of the college district, faculty requirements, program requirements, attendance requirements, dress code requirements, immunizations, and school calendar, in addition to school-specific information about clubs and organizations, a map of their school, and bell schedule.  Also include information regarding resources for military families, such as specific workshops, orientations, and transition actions.

2. Set a friend program for military children at every school.

The buddy is a friendly face; an important source of information regarding the college, its programs, extracurricular activities, athletics, expectations, and traditions; and someone to sit at lunch and at sporting events.  The Junior Student and the Student to Student transition programs developed by the Military Child Education Coalition are effective models.

3. Encourage parents and guardians to be active in the school.

Their existence in the school may provide a sense of comfort to facilitate their child's transition.   In addition, parents may have the ability to discuss some insights into how the college can make their children feel much more connected.  Publicize volunteer opportunities in school papers and on the district and school websites.

4. Promote student participation in extracurricular activities.

Extracurricular activities are an excellent means for students to meet classmates and quickly feel part of the school, so help them explore all of the options.  Military students may arrive at the school after the deadline for registering for actions, auditioning for drama productions, or trying out for sports to encourage teachers and coaches to discover a place for them anyhow.

5.  Invite parents, guardians and students to become involved with national organizations.

Involvement in national organizations such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and 4H can help families connect to the community.  Association with federal organizations also will pave the way for continuing connections once the households move to another community, where the company can provide a sense of continuity.

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