April is The Month of the Military Child, which originated in 1986. It continues to be celebrated each year to honor the bravery of military children stationed all over the United States and abroad.
The Dandelion is the official flower that represents military children because of their:
Typically, there are special activities all month long at public and DOD (Department of Defense) schools, military installations, and through nonprofit organizations all across the country. However, this year will be a little different due to COVID-19 and social distancing.
There are still many ways to honor military kids this month and learn about their unique lifestyle.
Here are a few easy ways to encourage appreciation for and learning about military children:
1. Wear purple for “Purple Up” Day. Purple is the color that represents all branches of the military and wearing purple on this specified day shows your support for military children. This year, Purple Up Day will be on April 15th. However, different states and installations may decide to celebrate it on different days.
2. Read books about military life to learn more.
Here are a few favorites written by military spouses and veterans:
3. Create a learning unit about travel and geography. Military families usually move once every three to four years. Help military kids pinpoint all the places they have lived on a map. As a bonus to learning about geography and the moving patterns of military families, here is a magnetic United States World Map Puzzle for purchase to further this learning concept.
4. Questions & Answer session. Conduct a Q & A with a service member and military child in-person or virtually. If you do not have military children in your classroom, connect with a local military base to help you locate a parent and child willing to speak with your class. Students can write down questions ahead of time and give to the military family to prepare.
5. Make cards. Make appreciation cards to deliver to military kids. The best way to do this is to adopt a classroom at a DOD school, make the cards, and drop off for that classroom anytime during the month of April.
These are just a few of the many ways to celebrate the Month of the Military Child. The greatest gift you can give to any military child or family is compassion. This life is not easy and can be especially hard on children. Learning about them, the military lifestyle, and showing appreciation for all that they go through is a wonderful way to show them that you care.
Wendi Iacobello is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a Master of Arts in Educational Media. She also has a BS degree in Early Childhood Education. Her professional career in education spans across nine years in the public education sector to include; middle and high school special education, adult education for incarcerated men, women, & youth, compensatory education, High School Equivalency instruction formerly known as GED, and community college instruction in Early Childhood Education curriculum courses. Wendi is an Army Spouse and first time mom to an adorable infant boy. Her hobbies include; volunteering in the local community, gardening, teaching aqua cycling and stroller fit classes on the military installation, and encouraging the military community through her blog Strength 4 Spouses.