An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NEWS | Aug. 25, 2009

Back to school academic success begins at home

By Elsa Summers 437th Force Support Squadron, Airman and Family Readiness Center

Parents can learn unique and creative ways to help their children have a successful school year and take home $20 worth of free materials Sept. 23 during two parent workshops at the Airman and Family Readiness Center here.

Frequent moves and parental deployments present unique challenges to a military child's education. The Military Child Education Coalition is scheduled to send Parent-to-Parent trainers to conduct two workshops, teaching parents ways to overcome these challenges.

MCEC is an international, non-profit organization dedicated to identifying needs and providing benefits for military-connected children and their families. Parents will learn about unique resources are available on the challenges of frequent moves, deployments and varying school system requirements.

"The interactive workshops will explore the social and educational implications of multiple school transitions, and we'll share practical ideas and resources to help parents organize and plan smooth transitions for their children," said Stacey Parry, MCEC's Parent Programs Manager.

On average, a military child will move seven times between kindergarten and his or her senior year in high school. Due to a wide variance in education policy and curriculum from one state to another, military children often face roadblocks to smooth educational transitions. Throw in parental deployments and the challenges increase.

MCEC's Parent-to-Parent Program has trained parents at installations worldwide on how to advocate for their child's educational needs from birth through 18.

Two of these Parent-to-Parent workshops will be held Sept. 23 in Building 500 from 9 a.m. to noon and again from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The first part will be a joint session covering the following topics: Social and Emotional Implications of Multiple School Transitions; Tools for Transition; and Local, MCEC and National Resources.

The second part will include the following age-specific break-out sessions for:

· Parents of children from birth to 4 years - Preparing for the Journey: Establishing a Strong Foundation for Future Academic Success
· Parents of kindergarten through fifth grade - Parent Strategies for Supporting Classroom Learning at Home, Ending Homework Hassles and Building Positive Communication with Your Child's School
· Parents of sixth graders through high school seniors - Chart Your Course: Planning a Successful Journey Through High School and Beyond

Parents attending the workshop will receive approximately $20 worth of complimentary MCEC materials which are age-specific to their children, including books, videos and charts.

"MCEC has done extensive research and developed materials to assist parents and educators. These are valuable resources for use in planning for their children's education. We are very excited to have this opportunity to come to Charleston and share this information with parents," Ms. Parry said.

MCEC has partnered with commercial organizations to fund and produce educational outreach materials such as the highly popular Sesame Street Talk, Listen, Connect video, parent or caregiver magazine and poster assisting parents in explaining family separations during military deployments to young children.

To learn more about MCEC and parent workshops, log on to their Web site at

To register for the Sept. 23 workshops scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon or 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., call the Airman and Family Readiness Center at 963-4406. Please state the age of the child when registering.