High quality, evidence-based resources are publicly available online from many organizations. The Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State identified some of the most relevant, useful, and accessible resources across multiple topics, such as military culture, deployments, parental injury, student grief, and reintegration. Please click on each topic area to view the identified resources that may be helpful to you as you work with military-connected students and families.
These resources focus on academic, classroom-based strategies, and best practices for educating military-connected children.
College, Career and Life Readiness for Military and Veteran Children
The Military Child Education Coalition designed this guide to provide some background information and recommendations in order to help you make well-informed decisions about issues regarding the military- and veteran-connected children in grades kindergarten through 12 within your community.
Kids + Operation Purple: Education
The National Military Family Association has identified the essential educational provisions included in the Interstate Compact and the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill that affect military-connected students.
Military Kids Connect developed lesson plans that integrate website content about military life and world cultures with key concepts in language arts, math, and other subjects. Each of these ready-to-go lesson plans includes content, instructions, and handouts.
Behavior and Socio-Emotional
These resources focus on common behavioral and socio-emotional responses that military-connected children may demonstrate as well as strategies that can be implemented to support children experiencing behavioral and socio-emotional difficulties.
Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame
Sesame Workshop developed a free interactive mobile app that demonstrates some emotions children might feel. It teaches children how to deal with negative emotions, such as frustration, through games and activities.
This Sesame Workshop online module promotes and encourages children to express their emotions and practice positive communication.
Military Kids Connect developed an interactive web-based activity to help children identify ways in which stress is exhibited in different parts of the body and strategies to cope with such stress.
Stress Management Plan
This Military Kids Connect module helps students understand and manage stress.
Typical Behavioral Responses to Deployment
Military Kids Connect developed a guide that describes behaviors students may display as they react to a parent or caregiver’s deployment.
Deployment and Parental Absence
Children and military families face unique challenges related to grief. These resources include information and strategies for school personnel to implement.
Advocating for Military Children: A Resource Guide for Educators and Community Partners Child & Youth Program
This guide is intended to help educators build coping skills in their students during and after a military deployment. The goal is to bring needed support and understanding to the process and maintain an optimal learning environment in the classroom and the school.
This module addresses ways in which children can prepare for a parent deployment and emphasizes the importance of communicating with friends and family that are near and far.
Guide for Helping Children and Youth Cope with Separation
This guide was created by the Department of Defense for parents, relatives, teachers, Service members, and community members to help children and youth cope with separation from a parent due to military deployment.
Preparing Children for a Parent’s Deployment
This concise guide provides a list of strategies that can help prepare children for a parent’s deployment.
School Nurse Care Toolkit to Increase Awareness & Support to Military Children
This detailed resource provides strategies that can help you support and promote resiliency in children who are dealing with deployment or reintegration.
Staying Strong: How Schools Build Resilience in Military Families
This video shows ways in which schools can help build resilience in military families by demonstrating exemplary practices and strategies that schools can recreate to support military children.
Talk, Listen, Connect for Military Families: Proud
Sesame Street characters communicate the importance of family members being proud of one another, especially during an absence. The accompanying resources are helpful for parents and children to utilize.
Talking About the News When a Parent is Deployed
When a parent is deployed, watching, listening to, or reading the news can be worrisome. This guide provides helpful strategies to productively talk about current military-related events with children.
The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children seeks to address transition issues related to enrollment, placement, attendance, eligibility, and graduation. These resources clarify the legal language of the Compact and make the Compact more accessible to school personnel and parents.
Fact Sheet for Service Providers
This fact sheet provides service providers with all the essential information they need to know about the Interstate Compact.
Guide for Parents, School Officials, and Public Administrators
This guide provides practical information about the Interstate Compact’s requirements and provisions.
A Guide for Schools and Local School Districts
This guide helps schools and local school districts understand the provisions of the Interstate Compact.
Informational Brochure: Resolving Education Transition Issues for Military Families
This brochure provides clear answers to frequently asked questions about the Interstate Compact.
The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children
This overview outlines the school transition issues that the Interstate Compact addresses to ensure military children have the same access to educational opportunities as non-military peers.
Quick Reference Guide
This reference guide organizes all of the essential information about what is covered by the Interstate Compact.
Military children face unique challenges. Learn more about how to effectively communicate with and support them through these resources.
Resources for Families: Guides for Adults
The Sesame Workshop has developed downloadable documents and strategy guides for navigating the challenges military families and children may experience.
Staying Strong: Educator Toolkit to Increase Awareness & Support to Military Children in Schools
This guide provides detailed examples of strategies teachers can use to effectively communicate with students and parents in various situations and during different stages of deployment.
Working with Military Students: Extended Video
Military youth face unique challenges. This video brings together experienced educators to offer their insights into working with this resilient group of young people.
Working with Military Students: A Primer for School Personnel
In an effort to recognize the extremely crucial role that schools play in supporting military children, this primer is designed to educate, support, and affirm future efforts of all school personnel and guidance counselors.
It can be difficult to understand the background or language of military families. These resources focus on understanding the culture of the military.
This module addresses the challenges associated with communicating with Army Service members. Although the module was developed for interacting with the Army, the provided strategies can help people communicate effectively with those involved in military life across all Services.
Military Cultural Competence
This interactive online training course provides an overview of military culture including organizational structure, rank, branches of service, core values, and demographics as well as similarities and differences between the Active and Reserve components. It is intended to assist civilian mental health providers in better understanding, communicating, and effectively interacting with Service members and their families. Although some of the statistics and demographics information are outdated, the remaining components of the course are useful for navigating military culture.
Military Culture: Core Competencies for Healthcare Professionals
This module series reviews the military organization and roles, military ethos, stressors and resources, as well as treatment resources and tools. Although some of the statistics and demographics information are outdated, the remaining components of the course are useful for navigating military culture.
Military Life 101
If you have limited experience with military families, becoming familiar with the structure, culture, and life of the military can be helpful. This information can be used as an introduction or quick refresher about military life.
Parents may return from a deployment or absence with an injury. These resources can be used to support military-connected children when a parent returns with an injury.
Sesame Street characters address the difficulties and challenges that may accompany the injury of a parent.
Sesame Street characters discuss strategies to address the challenges associated with welcoming home an injured Service member.
Deployments bring changes. This is especially true when a Service member returns due to physical injury, emotional injury, or a combination of both types of injury. The return of an injured parent can be unsettling for the family, especially when children have questions that may not have immediate answers. Because things are constantly changing and may become increasingly challenging, approach the various stages of coping in small steps in order to adjust successfully to the “new normal.”
As part of a military family, children may have to face the unthinkable. Children can learn how to cope with and overcome very difficult situations, but support is key to their success. The provided materials will help children, teenagers, and parents cope with tough topics, including the injury or death of a loved one.
When Service members return home from deployment, families often experience new or additional challenges. These resources focus on challenges related to reintegration and identify supports for students.
For Families: Homecoming Stories
Talk, Listen, Connect, offers strategies and resources to help children through difficult periods of transition and separation that can come with military service. These homecoming stories can help provide support to children.
Families spend weeks preparing for this special day, and the full homecoming experience may last for weeks afterward. However, as with any highly anticipated event, the reality for a family could be different from their expectations. Having your loved one back is wonderful, but it’s also another significant transition. With advance planning, you can help prepare a child for the joys–and occasional stresses–of having his or her family together again.
Talking with Children About a Parent’s Return from Deployment
This guide provides age-appropriate communication strategies and conversation starters to help children talk through a parent’s return home.
Parents in military families are often deployed or have to leave for extended time due to training. These resources focus on the expectations, strategies, and information regarding parental absence and deployment.
Give Your Heart a Little Time
Through song, Sesame Street characters address the various emotions children may experience during times of loss and also provide strategies to cope with death.
The death of a loved one brings enormous challenges. The Sesame Workshop offers support and resources for families to use during these difficult times.
Helping Military Children with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Educators
Children who are grieving the loss of a military loved one can develop traumatic responses in addition to grief responses, or “childhood traumatic grief.” These tips can help educators support these children.
Helping Military Children with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Parents
Children grieve in different ways. Military children face unique challenges after the death of a Service member. Some may develop traumatic grief responses, making it more difficult to cope. These tips can help parents recognize traumatic grief symptoms and help their military child cope with traumatic grief.
Traumatic Grief for Military Children
These strategies can help teachers provide support to military children coping with a traumatic loss.
When Families Grieve
This video explains the concept of death in age-appropriate terms for young children. As it emphasizes the importance of communication and support, it models appropriate behavior and actions that children should follow when they grieve.
This material is the result of a partnership funded by the Department of Defense between the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy and the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture through a grant/cooperative agreement with Penn State University.
The Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness is committed to making its websites accessible to all users, and welcomes comments or suggestions on access improvements. Please send comments or suggestions on accessibility to Clearinghouse@psu.edu.
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