Procedural Safeguards in Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) Schools

Parent Centers know the Procedural Safeguards in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Did you know that Department of Defense Activity (DoDEA) Schools have their own processes? If you work with military families who have a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) to or from these locations or work in the following locations (whose children attended or plan on attending a DoDEA school) this information will be particularly helpful for you.  Continue reading “Procedural Safeguards in Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) Schools”

OPSEC and Ham Transcript


I am Sam. Sam I am.

Do you like OPSEC and ham?

I do not get it, Sam I am. I do not get OPSEC and ham.

We must use it here and there.

We must use it everywhere.

You CAN share it in a car, but you CANNOT in a bar.

You CANNOT share it in a text. You CANNOT share it at the NEX.

You CAN say it at your house but should NOT tell a random spouse.

You CAN say it in the shower…but do NOT go sharing at happy hour.

DON’T make the ombudsman sweat. DON’T post it to the internet.

You CANNOT share it in a tweet. That would not be very sweet.

Beware of Facebook and MySpace too, it’s tempting to let your feelings through.

You CANNOT tell it to a friend. Not even at the very end.

It is a privilege to know a date. DON’T tell anyone or the date might be late!

Oh, I get it, Sam I am. Now I get OPSEC and ham!

I will NOT tell anyone.

I will keep hushed until they are done!

I will NOT tell him or her. I will NOT tell my dog with fur.

I will NOT tell my child’s teacher. I will NOT tell any creature.

Thank you, THANK you, Sam I am.

Thank you for clearing up OPSEC and ham!

Retrieved from : {MySailoriSMYANChor@Facebook}


8 Free Apps for Your Work With Military Families!

Eight apps created for military-connected professionals, service members, and their families can also be useful for you and the families you serve. They’re designed to address situations that challenge military families, such as a service member’s return from a long deployment or relocating to a new duty station.  Many of the apps teach ways to cope with stress and anxiety, like breathing and mindfulness practices. We hope you will check out three in particular: PTSD Coach, Parenting2Go and The Big Moving Adventure

Continue reading “8 Free Apps for Your Work With Military Families!”

Activity Grants for Military-Connected Kids


For children in National Guard or Reservist families, or whose parent was injured in military service.

When a family has a child with disabilities, it may be challenging to find activities and programs that are both affordable and benefit their child. This grant program helps fund activities for military-connected children, with and without disabilities, whose parents have financial challenges because of their service.

Our Military Kids is a “nonprofit organization that supports children, ages five through 12th grade, whose parents or guardians are deployed National Guard and Reserve service members and children of wounded warriors from all service branches. Grants pay for participation in activities that help children cope with the stress and anxiety while their parents are recovering or absent”. Since 2004 Our Military Kidshas given out nearly $23.5 million, through 60,000+ grants, to military children in all U.S. states and territories.”

Eligible activities fall into five categories: sports, arts, camps/clubs, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and tutoring. Parent may be particularly interested in grants for tutoring in study skills or SAT/ATC test-taking!

Their website links to resources that you can share when helping military-connected families, and includes:

  • Emergency and Child Advocacy Services
  • Exceptional Family Member Programs (EFMP) for each branch of service
  • Deployment Help
  • Legal Assistance
  • Health Care
  • Insurance programs
  • Military Benefits
  • General Military Resources
  • Shopping and Discount
  • For Military Children
  • Child Care for Military Families

Your Parent Center can show support for National Guard, Reserve, and Veteran families by sharing this information on social media. You can download program brochures from Our Military Kids and display them at resource fairs and in your office. It’s an easy way to show that your Parent Center is aware of the challenges faced by military-connected families.

 Our Military Kids website

Grant applications and eligible activities 

Links for family resources

Download brochures


OPSEC and Ham: Personal Information and Your Work with Military Families

Your work with military families can be rewarding, especially when they share information with you that’s useful for getting them the help they need. Military families don’t always share information freely, because they are told not to share personal details—or even the fact that they are a military family. This is because of Operational Security, often referred to as OPSEC. This article explains the ways OPSEC may limit what a military family can share, and how you can build trust with military families. Oh yes, and it explains the ham! Continue reading “OPSEC and Ham: Personal Information and Your Work with Military Families”

Images and Social Media Posts for Month of the Military Child

Here they are: Images and posts to use for April, Month of the Military Child!

Jump to the images     Jump to the posts     Jump to adding information about military in your State to your posts

Ready-to-go and brandable visuals for Month of the Military Child

Instructions: The first four images have space for your Parent Center logo, and once you brand it each one will read “Parent Center XYZ Supports Month of the Military Child”

The second set of four images can be used as-is.

  • Select an image and right-click on it. Copy the image to your computer or “Save as” to save the image to your computer as a specific type of image file (the current format is .png, suitable for social media, website, or document use).
  • To add your logo, use your preferred image-editing software, or paste the image into a PowerPoint slide or a Word document.

To grab all the slides at once, download the PowerPoint: Social Media and Website Images for Month of the Military Child  

  • In the PowerPoint, select the slide or slides you want to use, copy, save on your computer, and edit in image-editing software or a Word document. Or, edit directly in PowerPoint and copy.


Jump back to the image instructions

Social media posts and hashtags to celebrate Month of the Military Child (MoMC). Here are suggested choices for a post or tweet for each week in April, with a special selection for the week of April 13, which is Purple Up day. Of course, you can mix and match any of these items to fit your own social media calendars.  

Click here to download all the posts as a Word document

Click here for the special posts for Purple Up! Day, April 13

Or, choose and copy from the options below (broken down by week) directly from the website to use in your social media or on your website:

April 1-7 

  1. There are 1.2 million military children worldwide. Show your support for military children during April, the Month of the Military Child.  #MoMC #kidsservetoo 
  2. Military families with children who have special needs must develop a support system every time they move, in addition to changing schools, homes, and communities. Join us in showing your support for military children. #MoMC #kidsservetoo 
  3. The average military child will move 6 to 9 times during their parents’ career. Show your support for military families this April, the Month of the Military Child.  #MoMC #kidsservetoo 

April 8-14      Purple Up Day is April 13. Wear purple (and use purple on your posts!) to show support for military kids. 

  1. Purple Up! Wear Purple on April 13 to show your support for our military families. #PurpleUp #MoMC #kidsservetoo 
  2. Did you know that more than 80% of military children attend public schools? There are military-connected students in almost every school district across the US. Show your support for military families – Purple Up! #PurpleUp #MoMC #kidsservetoo 
  3. Purple Up for Military Kids! Military children say goodbye to parents for months at a time when they go on deployment. We honor our military children for the strength and resilience that allows them to grow and thrive no matter where they are planted. #PurpleUp #MoMC #kidsservetoo 

April 15-21 

  1. Good partnerships between home and school help children adapt more easily to change. We support military children by helping military families who have a child with disabilities work with schools to meet their child’s educational needs. #MoMC #kidsservetoo 
  2. Pack, Say Goodbye, Move, Repeat… Military children will say goodbye to more significant people by age 18 than the average person will in their lifetime. Please join us and show your support for military families. #MoMC #kidsservetoo 
  3. Military families want their kids to feel at home wherever they live, and they know a good way to get to know people is through their local school. We help military parents whose child has disabilities build positive relationships with their child’s school and be a great advocate for their child’s educational needs. #MoMC #kidsservetoo 

April 22-28, 29, 30 

  1. Military kids are amazing! Navigating constant changes with resilience, their ability to bounce back is inspiring.  We salute our military families. #MoMC #kidsservetoo 
  2. We celebrate military kids, because they serve too!       There’s a common saying about military families: “Military families serve too”. That’s really true, and no more so than for our military kids, who experience a degree of change that can be hard to imagine. We honor military kids and their parents for what they do in their daily lives for all of us. #MoMC #kidsservetoo 
  3. Military families have their child’s well-being and education as top priorities. [Parent Center name] has resources for military families whose children are/have [insert appropriate text here]. Join us in supporting military kids this April, Month of the Military Child! #MoMC #kidsservetoo 

Feature your awareness of and support for the military installations in your State-SHARE specific information about your area’s military presence in your posts:

 Get the information:

Open the Interactive Maps!  Select your Region, open that map, and click on the small box in the upper left corner of the map. This opens a list of States in alphabetical order with a list of installations, remote programs, and example locations.

Map of the United States with colored icons scattered over it. There is a red circle and a red arrow pointing to a small box in the upper left corner of the map.

  • Count the number of installations and entities in your State and SHARE (Example – Did you know there are # of military installations and entities in New Hampshire?)
  • Count the number of installations and entities per military branch and SHARE: (Example – Did you know the US Navy has # of installations in our State?)
  • Click on an installation name to get contact information for the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) or School Liaison and SHARE: ( Example – Contact your EFMP (or SLO) at 123-456-7890 if you have questions regarding your military children or to find out about local events…because…~use images we have provided below this post~)

-Share the information along with an image showing you support Month of the Military Child

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Everything You Need for Month of the Military Child!

Every year in the month of April there is a celebration honoring military children, called Month of the Military Child (MoMC). Do you want to show your support? It’s easy!

Continue reading “Everything You Need for Month of the Military Child!”

“The Voicemail”: Where to Learn Military Acronyms and Terms

Wouldn’t it be nice to know what those acronyms and terms mean that military connected folks use so frequently? Well, look no further!  Continue reading ““The Voicemail”: Where to Learn Military Acronyms and Terms”

Deployment: What is it and What it Means for the Families you Serve

As we know, and research shows, “military parents of children with disabilities experience additional stress compared to those military parents with typically developing children. This can be attributed to the increase in time and resources that are needed in the daily care of a child with a disability” (Russo & Fallon, 2001). 

Continue reading “Deployment: What is it and What it Means for the Families you Serve”