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Minnesota National Guard
April recognized as Month of the Military Child

Military Child CAMP RIPLEY, Minn - In recognition of the endurance and courage of military children - here in the United States and with their families overseas - the Department of Defense has deemed April as the Month of the Military Child

"From deployments to culture changes, new schools and friends, military children are often faced with unique challenges that ordinary youth their age never experience," said Tami Klucas, Camp Ripley Family Assistance Center specialist

One such program locally is the Little Falls School District Military Kids Club The program, focused around military children, reaffirms the commitment to ensuring excellence in schools, childcare and youth services as well as providing a strong supportive environment where children can thrive

"This is a collaborative effort with the district, the military and military support organizations to help children connected to the military share their experiences collectively and not feel so secluded," said Anita Larsen, school social worker for Lincoln and Dr Knight Elementary

According to the Department of Defense, there are approximately 2 million military children, ranging in ages from newborn to 18 years old Of those, 13 million military children are school-aged and more than 225,000, on average, have a parent currently deployed Care of military children sustains our ready force, and strengthens the health, security and safety of our nation's families and communities

During the Little Falls Military Kids Club programs, children in grades K-5 come together to participate in several activities designed to help them develop tools for understanding the military lifestyle With the help of the Military Kids Toolkit, they work through activities about what the military is, what their role is in the household and dealing with stress

"These 'missions' as we call them, include several fun activities, bring the children closer together and help to ease any burden they may carry individually," added Klucas

"With the positive success we had in the Little Falls School district, we will definitely be back next year," said program organizer Moriah Legvold "We are so grateful to everyone involved that made this program so amazing, the kids enjoy it so much"

Thousands of Minnesotans serve in the military and in turn, thousands of military families and children are impacted by their service Resources are available to assist Minnesota educators to serve and support children in their classrooms To learn more, contact Moriah Legvold, Minnesota National Guard Child and Youth Programs at moriahllegvoldctr@mail.mil or 651-268-8378

April 1, 2015
by Staff Sgt Anthony Housey
Camp Ripley Public Affairs

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