Month of the Military Child

Information

April is recognized nationally as the Month of the Military Child, where we honor the sacrifices of our military children and recognize the unique challenges of their lives. Georgia is the fifth-largest state population of military members. Join us in April as we celebrate military-dependent children.

Purple Up! Day will honor military children. On April 15th we encourage communities to wear the color purple as a visible way to show support and thank military youth for their strength and sacrifices. Why purple? Purple is the color that symbolizes all branches of the military, as it is a combination of Army green, Marine Red, and Coast Guard, Air Force, and Navy blue. The goal of Purple Up! Day is for military youth to SEE the support in their school, youth groups, and the community!
Purple Up Day can be held any day in April to meet the needs of your community and schools. Nationally, Purple Up! day is celebrated on 15 April.

Also, April is considered the Month of the Military Child. There are various activities that communities can do to recognize our youngest heroes. This webpage includes resources and ideas to celebrate Purple Up! Day and the Month of the Military Child.

Support for Implementation

There are serval downloadable resources at the bottom of this page. Check out the Resources section for ready-to-go resources.

The below Activity List can be viewed on this webpage and downloaded HERE. The Activity Sheet provides Ideas to share to highlight military-dependent children.

For more information & additional resources contact Laura Goss, GA 4-H Military Liaison at laurwalt@uga.edu, (706) 542.4444.

Subscribe to the 4-H Military Program Blog, to receive additional updates on the Month of the Military Child programming, Purple Up Day, and other events by subscribing.

 

The Month of the Military Child Club and School Activities

Resiliency Lesson: Use the A Good Day MOMC Lesson with K-4th grade students to teach military and non-military students about resiliency and celebrate military children who experience a myriad of emotions due to their parents’ service. The lesson includes A Good Day PPT, script, and alternative activity suggestions.

Military Reflection Lesson: Classroom teachers and other professionals can use a 4-H lesson for teens. The learner will reflect on the impact of being a military teen and see how teens their age inside and outside of the military are more alike than they are different. The learner will gain a better understanding of themselves through activities themed around nature. The Military Youth Wonder through Nature Lesson Plan includes script and additional learning to prepare the professional. The activity Sheet for the lesson can be found HERE.

Art Contest Host a schoolwide artwork contest. Art projects can be completed in art class, as a special recess option, in afterschool clubs, or within homeroom classrooms. Details on submitting completed projects are included through the Art Contest Flyer and Qualtrics Link. Email laurwalt@uga.edu to adapt the MOMC Artwork Contest Flyer to fit your school/county needs.

Time Zone Wall In the main hallway set up a series of clocks/ clock graphics showing the time in different countries where military children’s family members are deployed (general area-Ex: Europe, Asia).

Show-n-Tell Have students bring in something military-related, such as memorabilia from an installation or service branch, a favorite airplane, or a book.

Virtual Meet and Greet Hold a live virtual session with a deployed service family member in the classroom.

Website / Social Media Feature Promote the Month of the Military Child on the school website. List activities that will take place on different days during the month. Schools can release social media posts once a week highlighting military youth and ongoing activities.

Share Your Story Ask students to write about their experience with the military. Students can share their personal stories or share about a classmate, friend, or neighbor who has or is serving in the military. Another consideration is selecting a book that talks about the military and having youth complete a reflection of the book.  The former is a good tool for those with little to no military children in the classroom while still highlighting military youth’s resiliency.

Salute to Military Children at a Sporting Events Have the announcer make a special announcement before, during, or after a sporting event recognizing all military children. As a military child to raise the flag, sing the National Anthem, or recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Field Trip Take a class trip to a military installation. Travel to an active-duty installation, a National Guard Armory, or an armed forces reserve center or complex. Meet with some of the service members and learn about what they do. If you cannot travel, consider a virtual field trip. The former is an insightful activity for those with minimal military children in a school to recognize military families’ service.

Sports Tournament Organize a field day or sports tournament. Divide the students into teams representing different branches of the military. Encourage the participants to wear the color of the service branch they represent. Invite the local media or school media specialist to cover the event. The sports tournament can be adapted to fit the needs of the classroom or school. Consider a half-day event for the whole school, a 30-minute recess event by grade level, a PE lesson, or a special all-day event! To extend learning connect with your local extension office to teach a healthy living lesson.

Military Ball Host a school dance with a military theme. Decorate the venue in patriotic colors (or purple to honor military children). If you charge for the dance, consider donating funds to a local group that supports military children. Another consideration is to cover the dance tickets for military children or host an additional Purple Up event specifically for military children with the funds raised from the dance.

District School Board Meeting Invite military families to attend the April meeting of the district school board. Read a brief biography of each family and present the families to the board. Have the board chairperson formally thank the military families for their service and sacrifice.

 4-H Club Meeting Have 4-H members wear purple to the April 4-H Club Meeting. If youth are awarded points in club meetings give points to those who wear purple.

Weekly Military Showcase Identify a day once a week in April for a fun activity that highlights the military and military children. Ideas include having youth dress up, creating a military-themed project, completing a craft, watching a video/interviewing a military family, and decorating classroom doors to honor military children. On themed days staff can share facts about the military, have military children say the pledge, and so forth.

Purple Take Over Decorate the school with purple! Include military logos, signage, mottos, and if applicable photos of military youth within the school.

Reflection Wall Hang paper up in the main lobby or within classrooms for youth to reflect on what it means to be a military kid. Encourage youth to write one word that describes what it means to be a military kid.

Wall of Honor Hang pictures of military kids and/or families to showcase families who serve in the military. If you do not have pictures, you can share statics on how many youths within the school/district are military kids.

Morning Message Conduct a teacher-led discussion with students focusing on what it means to be in the military and the strength of military kids. The following are suggestions are meant to spark ideas and can be adapted. Select vocabulary words that relate to strength, resiliency, flexibility, honor, and service for the week. Each day or throughout the month lead a discussion on the targeted military-kid vocab words.  Other considerations for “carpet time talks” or discussions include: what is the military, what are the military branches, who serves in the military (service member, spouse, children= whole family serves’), and life as a military kid?

Morning News Have military children host the morning news. Additionally, invite a local military service member for an interview and to publicly thank the military children.  Another consideration is sharing the names and branches of students in your school during the morning news. Lastly, Highlight the activities occurring throughout the month in school and in the community for military children on the morning news.

Purple Up Day Invite the whole school to wear purple in honor of military children. Typically, Purple Up Day is April 15th, but it can be any day that works best for your school. Purple Up Day Flyer

 Military Child Breakfast Host a gratitude breakfast for military children and their families. Consider hosting for deployed dependents or for all military children. Purple Up Day is a great day to host a special breakfast.

Purple Icy If your school invites an icy vendor as a fundraiser ask the vendor to do all purple flavoring/dye in April. This is another great activity to highlight Purple Up Day. Be sure to have information explaining the “purple takeover.”

Social Media Take Over Invite older military youth (high school) to “take over” your school/4-H social media accounts. This is a fun leadership opportunity for military-dependent teens. Create a committee of teens to determine the theme, how they will manage their time in charge, and who will create their media engagements.

A Year of Gratitude Consider using some of the above ideas yearlong to recognize military youth throughout the year. For example, bi-monthly breakfasts, chats, and fun with children whose parents are deployed.

Radio Highlight the strength and importance of Military Kids through a Radio PSA  and radio interview. An example radio PSA (condensed and extended version) are provided. Also, when able consider a radio interview where you share facts and programs that the community can participate in to highlight Military children.

Purple Science Select a youth to lead a “purple STEM activity” for a virtual audience or a face-to-face audience. Not only will the youth gain teaching skills but it is a fun way to highlight military youth within an educational activity.

 

Resources