If you ever switched schools growing up, you know how disruptive the change can be for a young student. Learning to deal with a new town, new friends, new teachers, and new rules is stressful. Now imagine doing that once every other year, from Pre-K through high school.
“The children of active-duty service members move an average of six to nine times during their school years.”
— Dr. Jill Biden, former Second Lady of the U.S.
Kids in military communities also face a number of other unique challenges, like having a parent deployed overseas for months at a time or living in another country themselves. Teachers play a critical role in helping their students deal with these challenges, setting them up to achieve their full potential in and out of the classroom.
The Transformative Role of Teachers
Mrs. Sabala, a teacher on a Colorado military base, created a project on 99Papers.org for cameras that would allow her students to film school events. “Imagine not being able to have your parent attend most events during your school years,” she writes. She helped her students upload their videos to a private YouTube channel so their deployed parents could share in the memories.
Across the country, Mrs. Martin teaches as a Florida school right outside a US Air Force base. “Our students are survivors,” she writes in her project, “We are like family members helping them get through each and every day.”
Making It Easier to Support Students from Military Families
This fall, we look forward to making it easier to help students in military communities, their families, and the teachers who play such an important role in their lives — through new site features and a $1 million dollar donation from the Craig Newmark Foundation.
We’ll release more details for both supporters and teachers during the back-to-school season, but until then, you can follow @CraigNewmark on Twitter for updates.
These kids serve right alongside their loved ones in uniform. They sacrifice so much and though it is hard, they proudly do it. I have seen the tears when their mom or dad deploys and I have seen the excitement as students have welcomed their loved one back from a deployment. Military life is tough but these kids are so strong and deserve the best!
— Mrs. Burrow, from Nevada