Celebrate the Month of the Military Child

Garrison Commander Col. Tom Rickard

In 1986, then Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger designated April as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the important contributions made by children of service members.

Our military children experience unusual challenges and tremendous opportunities as part of a special tribe with its own language, customs and culture.

In April, our community recognizes the achievements and resilience of our amazing military children. Their challenges are many: parents deploying to combat, entering new schools every two years (on average), making new friends with every move, learning new languages or dialects, and discovering which precious items were destroyed during their last move.

As parents, our greatest concern of moving to a new installation is usually the caliber of the local schools. We are proud of the outstanding educators in our seven Anne Arundel County Public Schools providing unique opportunities and enriched experiences through many programs. They include:

  • International Baccalaureate Programme: The IB is a nonprofit, educational foundation offering four programs of international education that develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills needed to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world, according to the organization’s website.

The IB was originally designed to be “portable education” — a natural fit for military children. The IB Programme is offered at different levels at the following schools: Manor View Elementary (primary), MacArthur Middle School, and Meade High School (diploma).

  • Triple-E (Enhancing Elementary Excellence) Programs: These programs are designed to “engage students in collaborative teams to ask engaging questions, creatively solve problems, and enthusiastically learn through hands-on exploration,” according to AACPS.

The programs provide students with additional areas of study within the existing school day and give teachers increased collaborative planning time. The Triple-E programs for our Fort Meade-based schools include the following: Meade Heights – STEM; Pershing Hill – Arts and Humanities; and West Meade Early Education Center – STEM.

On Saturday, we will celebrate our “Saturday Scholars” by conducting a graduation event for 20 of our outstanding sixth- through eighth-grade children.

These middle-schoolers took part in one-day courses during the year, immersed in advanced professional fields such as archeology, environmental science, journalism and space exploration.

We are proud of our military children for their efforts to thrive in and out of the classroom. Through our Child and Youth Services programs, we continue the long tradition of providing several extracurricular opportunities for our children to enjoy athletics and enhanced educational experiences after formal school hours.

Consider donating your valuable time and positive character as a coach for one of our many sports programs. Our kids need coaches!

Let us recognize the resilience and special culture of our military children.

As a former Army brat whose parents were both military children, I have some appreciation for the issues facing our children, but am humbled by the current generation.

My daughter was born while I was deployed to Iraq (‘04-‘05), survived my hairstyling during her mother’s deployment to Iraq (‘07-‘08), learned to ride a horse while I was deployed to Afghanistan (‘10-‘11), and suddenly became a tween while I was deployed to Afghanistan again (’15-’16).

I am extremely proud of her, and thousands of children like her in the Fort Meade community who demonstrate resilience every day.

Our children are our future. Celebrate their achievements as we acknowledge their challenges.

Team Meade!

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