Suggestions and Feedback from Readers

AASA Toolkit: Supporting the Military Child

Send your comments to Kitty Porterfield at

Nov. 19, 2009 - Russ Hopkins, Chicago
I just received a copy of your new toolkit and am very impressed by its readable format.

One of my primary roles is reaching out to Illinois schools, seeking to create an awareness among them of the military kids in their midst and to encourage them to provide appropriate support for them and their families. It should be kept in mind that the problems associated with military service within the school setting are not restricted solely to deployment challenges but extend often far beyond when reintegration of the returning veteran gets underway.

From what I have read so far, the Toolkit does seem to reflect the situation wherein the schools themselves are located near a military base and have a substantial number of students enrolled from families linked with such situations.

In Illinois, particularly in the large Chicago Metro Area, including our suburbs, the percentage of students with immediate military ties might be anywhere from two to eight percent of the population including kids with brothers and sisters in the military. That's according to very fragmentary information available to us. The schools seldom even know that these students exist as far as their military connections are concerned.

Nevertheless, we have made some inroads on the awareness front in recent years and the Illinois State Board of Education has called upon schools to support students and school staffers enduring the absence or agonizing return of a love one from military service.

There are some very simple steps that all schools might take to address the basic needs of these military family members, including:

  1. Via survey or registration process, identify kids with a mother, father, sister, brother, guardian serving in military or who has served in military.
  2. Also, survey staffers. Those with military connections may make excellent helpers with respect to supporting the kids.
  3. Establish a Military Youth Club within the school framework which meets or has activity at least once per month. Affords an opportunity for kids to meet one another and also connects their parent or guardian with one another.
  4. Offer a Wall of Heroes or Wall of Honor within schools featuring graduates, and parents, brothers, sisters of military kids and staffers. This feature is an extension of displays most schools have to honor past athletes, school officials, etc. It offers morale boosting for all concerned via recognition and appreciation expressed.

Some examples of efforts by schools include:

 Thank you.

Nov. 19 - Klea Scharberg
Whole Child Blog

Research, data, and experiences show that a positive community and school environment where students are supported by qualified, caring adults positively influences academic performance and well-being. As we take the time to support our troops, let's also take the time to support military families and children.
Read more on the Whole Child Blog 

Nov. 18, 2009 - C. Van Chaney
US Army Installation Management at J & M Business Park
Army Child, Youth & School Services
San Antonio, TX

We will definitely be sharing this with our school districts. Excellent tool for our schools!

Nov. 18 - John C. Myers
Deputy Director of Marketing
US Army Accessions Command




We are quite blown away by the toolkit. What a wonderful thing AASA has done for our kids and their deployed and in transition parents!

Nov. 16 - Linda Schwartz RN, MSN, DrPH, FAAN
USAF, NC Retired
Commissioner of Veteran Affairs
State of Connecticut

Our goal should be that every classroom teacher knows about these resources to assist the children of our deployed troops. I hope you will join me in spreading the word on this website and the important work of supporting the children of our service personnel.

Return to the AASA Toolkit: Supporting the Military Child.