Updated: Apr 30, 2019
April is the month of the military child – the lesser talked about soldier of the military family. Team Duval News recently sat down with School Liaison Officers Sharon Kasica from Naval Station Mayport and Teri Wanamaker from Naval Air Station Jacksonville to talk about the services available for children of military families in Duval County Public Schools.
“Our military kids serve too,” said Kasica. “The more the family is supported, the more the sailor can focus on the mission.”
The following services are offered to students of military families.
Military Family Life Counselors (MFLCs) – These licensed clinical psychologists support military children in school. They help the child get introduced to a new environment, make new friends, cope with deployment of a loved one and enjoy reintegration of a family member back into the home. MFLCs also support the family as a whole in supporting spouses who are coping with deployment or reintegration of a loved one.
Anchored 4 Life – This is a support group run by students for students at the elementary level. Students take on leadership roles and facilitate support groups with one another. Students in Anchored 4 Life provide each other “comfort boxes” to help each other deal with unique challenges, such as adjusting to a new school or coping with a parent’s deployment. Students also act as mentors toward other students new to the school in showing them the ropes of a typical day.
School Liaison Officers (SLOs) – SLOs are a first point of contact in getting help related to the school system. They ensure students are placed in the correct schools and in the correct classes at the correct level. SLOs are connected all over the world to ensure that military families have a smooth transition from place to place.
“Children in military families go to an average of 9 different schools by the time they graduate,” said Wanamaker. “These students face challenges every day, and it takes all of us to make them feel comfortable.”
For more information about more of the services available to approximately 6,000 Duval County Public Schools students, contact the Department of School Choice at (904) 390-2997.