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 home to the fifth largest state population of military and we have military children in all of our counties.
During April, Purple Up Day is used as a day to hold programs and events in honor of military children. Wearing the color purple is 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!” is for military youth to actually 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.
School Celebration Ideas
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.
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 or at an assembly.
Web Site Feature Promote the Month of the Military Child on the school web site. 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 on-going activities.
Share Your Story Ask students to write about their experience with the military. This might mean students 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.
Salute to Military Children at Sporting Events Have the announcer make a special announcement before, during, or after sporting events recognizing all military children. Have them raise the flag, sing the National Anthem, or recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
Field Trip Take a class trip to a military installation. This could be 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 do not live near a base or cannot travel, consider a virtual field trip.
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 military branch they represent. Invite the local media or school media specialists to cover the event. This could be a half-day event, occur during recess, during PE, or a special all-day event!
Military Ball Host a school dance with a military theme. Decorate the venue in patriotic colors (or purple to honor military children) Invite a military parent as a guest of honor. If you charge a fee consider donating funds to a local group that supports military children.
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.
Art Contest Host a schoolwide artwork contest. Art projects could 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. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to adapt the flyer to your school/county needs.
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, create a project, complete a craft, watch a video, and decorating classroom door to honor military children. On the selected day 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. Hang a map on the wall of the world, Georgia, and the US so military kids can mark where they have lived.
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 Teacher-led discussion about what it means to be in the military and what it means to be a military kid. Suggested daily discussion topics can include but can be adapted to fit vocabulary for the week or other morning meeting standards. What is the military, what are the military branches, who serves in the military (service member, spouse, children= whole family serves), jobs in the military, highlight a vocabulary word that relates to the military like honor or integrity (The previous are two of the Army’s core values), and the life of a military kid.
Morning News Have military children host the morning news. Invite a local military service to be interviewed. Highlight the activities occurring throughout the month of the military 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 be any day that works best for your school.
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