With Fort Jackson in our backyard, Columbia is home to a large military community. It’s easy to remember to celebrate and thank those who dedicate their lives to serving in the military. But we don’t spend enough time appreciating the families of our dedicated military men and women. That’s why the Department of Defense dedicated April as the Month of the Military Child. It’s a chance to celebrate children all across the nation who themselves make daily sacrifices and overcome many challenges.
Military children deal with deployments, moving every couple of years, changing schools, and sometimes, the loss of a parent. It’s time to celebrate these special children and recognize all they endure.
Here are some ways you can celebrate this special month and honor the military children in your life.
Show your support for military kids by wearing purple on Friday, April 21. Purple is the color that symbolizes all branches of the military. It’s a combination of the colors of each branch: Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine red, and Navy blue. While April 21 is the national Purple Up day, be sure to check your child’s school to see if they are wearing purple on a different day (For example, Richland District 2 is wearing purple on April 7).
- Fort Jackson’s Month of the Military Child Parade: Monday, April 3rd at 4:30 p.m. The 282nd Army Band will be performing.
- School events: Check your child’s school calendar to see what special events they might be offering.
- Community events: Check to see if your local community is celebrating in any way, especially if you live on post/base.
Additional Ways to Celebrate
- Salute to military children at a sporting event: Are you headed to a sporting event in April? Maybe a Fireflies game? Ask if a special announcement can be made during the game to honor all the military children in attendance.
- School project: Ask your child’s teacher (or other teachers as well!) to make a special project celebrating military children. It could be as simple as making a special picture frame, bookmark, drawing, journal, letters to military children, etc.
- School Assembly: Work at a school? Why not have an assembly to celebrate military children? Ask the students to write poems or a short story about being a military child and have a few students read them at the assembly. Have the school band play. You can even do the Pledge of Allegiance. Why not have all the military children stand and be recognized? So many possibilities!
- Website promotion and Flyers: Schools and businesses can promote the Month of the Military Child on their website and provide links to helpful resources for military families. Don’t forget to send out flyers and promote any event(s) your school and/or business may be having!
- Classroom activities: There are a wide variety of activities that can be done in the classroom to celebrate. Teachers can read stories about military children to their students; Military themed Show and Tell; Create a world map and have the military students in the classroom mark where they’ve lived; have theme days for one or two weeks and have the students dress accordingly. So many options!
There are many ways to celebrate military children in April! Let’s join together and show our military children and families how special and important they are. And lets honor them for the countless sacrifices they make on a daily basis.