Services for school-age kids found off, on base
Hello military community,
As many military parents settle into the new school year, finding a safe and fun environment for school-age children is a priority. Youth and teen programs for military families can help with childcare needs and other resources during summer breaks and holidays as well as before and after school.
Active-duty service members, including activated Guard and Reserve members, and Department of Defense civilians can access services offered on their instillations. Programs vary, but most bases have youth centers offering classes, sponsored events and safe places for youth to hang out. While teen center programs can help parents find activities and events geared toward older children.
Youth and teen centers are a great place for children to relax, have fun, do homework and meet new people. The amenities and activities they may provide include computer labs, special field trips, gymnasiums, fitness rooms and game rooms as well as music rooms where kids can express themselves by dancing or recording music. They may also provide resources for your child to find that perfect job or volunteer position.
There are also some services not generally located on military installations. The following organizations offer services for military youth and teens in the form of before and after school care, camps, or special programs. They can be especially valuable to activated Guard and Reserve families or active duty families who live far from standard installation services.
•4-H Military Partnership brings the resources of the Land Grant Universities – youth development professionals, research-based curricula, and high quality training and technical assistance – to the military youth programs. Through this partnership, military youth are able to participate in 4-H clubs in their community and have access to summer camps around the country. www.4-hmilitarypartnerships.org
•Mission Youth Outreach is a partnership between the services and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The program helps meet the needs of active duty, Guard and Reserve families who may not live near installation services. It lets military youth take part in local Boys & Girls Club programs at no cost to the family. www.bgca.org/meetourpartners/Pages/MilitaryPartnership.aspx
•Kids Connect helps children prepare for the challenges faced during significant family transitions. They can share their own ideas and experiences with other military children on monitored online forums. Parents and educators can also get information to help them support military kids at home and in school. www.militarykidsconnect.org
To help them stay resilient and grow stronger, the Child and Youth Program partners with schools, counselors and educational leaders to offer many opportunities for military youth. These include regional youth events, Month of the Military Child events, family day camps and military youth workshops.
To find out more about programs, activities or upcoming events in your area, contact your state child and youth development specialist or base youth coordinator.
Other great resources for military youth of all ages are www.militaryscholar.org and www.militarychild.org. For resources on quality and affordable childcare besides what is offered on the bases, go to www.naccrra.org/military-families and www.sittercity.com/military.
A few other resources to keep in mind are listed below (with an asterisk next to those our family has found useful and supportive).
- American Legion: www.legion.org
- AMVETS: www.amvetsnsf.org
- Armed Services YMCA: www.asymca.org
- ASMBA Star Foundation: www.asmbaster.com
- Believe in Tomorrow Children’s Foundation: believeintomorrow.org
- Blue Star Families: bluestarfam.org
- Easter Seals New Hampshire Veterans Court: nh.easterseals.com
- Give an Hour: www.giveanhour.org
- Horses4Heroes: horses4heroes.org
- Little Patriots Embraced: littlepatriotsembraced.org
- Our Military Kids: www.ourmilitarykids.org
- Quantum Leap Farm: www.quantumleapfarm.org
- Reach Out and Read: www.reachoutandread.org
- Snowball Express: www.snowballexpress.org
- United Through Reading: www.unitedthroughreading.org
- Zero to Three: www.zerotothree.org
I hope you find these useful. If you have any questions or need something in another area, please send me an email.
Blessings from my family to yours,
If you have any questions or concerns or would like to share a story or situation, contact me at Kim@MilitaryResourceBooks.com and visit my website at MilitaryResourceBooks.com for updated information and other resources not listed in my book.