ANSBACH, Germany (April 13, 2021) Month of the Military Child is observed each April as a time to highlight the importance of military children and families worldwide, and honor and celebrate military children and youth for their service, commitment, and sacrifice in support of the mission.
The April 2021 observance has the theme, “Military Children and Youth: A Resilient Force in a Changing World.”
Month of the Military Child is sponsored by the Department of Defense Military Community and Family Policy and supported by many other organizations such as the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA).
Army Family & Morale, Welfare and Recreation is hosting a slew of virtual events and online resources for military youth, to include Military Kids Week, Young Lives, BIG Stories Contest, Earth Day, and much more. For a list of virtual observances, visit https://www.armymwr.com/programs-and-services/cys/month-military-child/virtual-observances
Purple Up! For Military Kids Week
“Purple Up! For Military Kids” is a special week for military communities to wear purple to show support and thank military children for their strength and sacrifices. The color purple symbolizes all branches of the military; it is a combination of Army green, Marine red, and Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard. Military Kids Week lasts April 18-24.
Young Lives, BIG Stories
The Young Lives, BIG Stories contest gives Army-connected children and youth ages 3 through grade 12 the chance to tell their story about what it means to be a military kid through pictures or written word. This annual contest runs during April, the Month of the Military Child (MOMC). Children and youth have the opportunity to win great prizes. To find out more, visit https://www.armymwr.com/programs-and-services/cys/month-military-child/young-lives-big-stories
Military One Source celebrates military youth
Military One Source offers a free MilKids Appreciation Kit that can be ordered online via https://www.militaryonesource.mil/family-relationships/family-life/month-of-the-military-child/#kit. The kit includes a Military OneSource book mark, pop socket and photo frame, a Sesame Street reusable face mask, enamel pin and magnet, and a book called “Connecting With Kids in a Disconnected World” by Trevor Romain.
The site also offers virtual events and videos during the month of April for military children and their parents at https://www.militaryonesource.mil/family-relationships/family-life/month-of-the-military-child/#events
Call for the Arts
The 2021 Call for the Arts campaign is hosted by the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) and offers military youth an opportunity to express their creative side through poetry, photos, and hand-drawn, colored artwork. This year’s theme is: “The View from My Home.”
To find out more about the campaign, visit https://www.militarychild.org/programs/the-call-for-the-arts
The U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach offers many programs and services in support of military children, youth and their parents, not only during the month of April, but all year around.
Ansbach Army Community Service (ACS) shares a big part of those programs.
The New Parent Support Program (NPSP) is a voluntary program that assists military Families who are pregnant or have children birth through age three years understand the process of delivering a baby overseas and adapt to parenthood in healthy and resilient ways.
‘Daddy Matters’ is an NPSP class that focuses on parent/child bonding and attachment. It is offered weekly online by ACS, Tuesdays from noon to 1 p.m.
For more ACS programs visit https://ansbach.armymwr.com/programs/army-community-services
Child & Youth Services (CYS) provides programs and services for children of eligible military and civilian families, including full, part-time or hourly childcare, before/after school care, camps, programs for middle school and teen youth, instructional classes, workforce preparation opportunities and sports and fitness activities.
CYS Youth Sports offers sports and fitness programs, including team sports, individual sports, fitness and health programs. For more information, requirements and registration visit https://ansbach.armymwr.com/programs/youth-sports-fitness1
The SKIES Unlimited program offers several activities for military children, including weekly classes for kids in theater, karate, Irish dance and more. For more information and registration visit https://ansbach.armymwr.com/programs/instructional-classes-skiesunlimited
Facts and numbers about military children
According to the website https://militarybenefits.info/month-of-the-military-child there are 700 military child development program facilities around the world, running approximately 155,000 child-care spaces, with another 3,000 Family Child Care homes.
It is estimated that military child development centers welcome around 200,000 children daily. There are 300 youth and teen centers worldwide serving more than 645,000 youth through a variety of educational and recreational programs.
Approximately 2 million military children have experienced a parental deployment since 9/11. There are currently 1.2 million military children of active duty members worldwide. The average military family moves three times more often than their civilian counterpart.
Photos: Joshua Rojas