Groups help kids take on unique challenges


Groups help kids take on unique challenges

by: Kim Suchek | .
. | .
published: April 16, 2013

Hello Military Community,

April is a month for renewal and remembering the sacrifices of military kids. As a community bonded together, we strive to take an extra moment to honor our children for their contributions to their families in support of their parents serving our nation. Base all over the world are celebrating this month, so make sure to check into what events yours has planned for our military children.

Being the child of a service member can be hard by itself, but moving to a new installation can add to that stress, as they leave behind friends, family and everything that they understand in their world. But it can also be a new adventure. This week I would like to highlight the Youth Sponsorship Program and The Military Child Education Coalition.

In order to help ease the transition, installations are required to offer a Youth Sponsorship Program, designed to help military children integrate into their new community. This program pairs the transitioning child with another from the new base. In most cases, the program is aimed at pre-teen and teenage youths. Your installation’s Youth Sponsorship Program is an important step for getting new families incorporated into the installation community, as it relieves stress on the children and their parents, increasing overall mission readiness.

Families PCSing to a new base, should reach out the base’s Youth Sponsorship program to set up a “sponsor” for their children. Many children are actively involved in the Youth Sponsorship Program on their bases. Allowing them to plan and coordinate program activities is integral to the program’s success.

For families PCSing, it is also important to draw upon various resources in the community, including the relocation office, youth programs and schools. These resources are integral to the experience of military children as they transition to their new installation.

To find out more about how to start or improve a Youth Sponsorship Program, download the DOD’s Youth Sponsorship Toolkit (PDF Form) at

The Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) is a nonprofit, worldwide organization that is designed to provide positive leadership and military child advocacy. The organization’s work is focused on ensuring quality educational opportunities for all military.

The MCEC performs research, conducts professional institutes and conferences, and develops and publishes resources for all constituencies. MCEC also organizes its “Tell Me A Story” events, which empower children by using literature and children’s own stories to help foster strong peer and parent connections. For more information, visit the Military Child Education Coalition website at 

Blessings from my family to yours,

Kim Sucheck

If you have any questions or concerns or would like to share a story or situation, contact me at and visit my website for updated information and other resources not listed in my book.

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