This Week in MC&FP April 15, 2011 ____________________________________ Over the past few days, we joined the nation in celebration of our volunteers. Eachyear since 1974, one week in April is set aside to recognize and thank the wonderful people who providetheir time and talents in service of others. Many family programs that are now part of the fabric of ourmilitary community were once staffed only by volunteers. What would we have done without them?It‟s hard to imagine. Today, there are still countless programs that would not exist without thatcontinued spirit of generosity and willingness to serve. Do you know a volunteer? Very likely, they dowhat they do without fanfare or the desire for any special recognition. Ask any volunteer and they‟llprobably tell you they get so much more than they give. But a sincere, “Thank you.” goes a long wayand means a lot. To our thousands of volunteers, we say, “Thank you for YOUR service!”Have a good week and take care. Please note: Some hyperlinks in this text are lengthy, sometimes extending more than one line. For best results,cut and paste the entire link into your Web browser.From DoDEA First Lady Announces Initiative for Military Families at Fountain-Fort Carson High School During an April 14th event at Fountain-Fort Carson High School, Colorado, a public high school in the Fountain-Fort Carson School District, the First Lady and Dr. Biden announced the national expansion of an Initiative for Military Families to 32 high schools that serve students in military families. Funding for this major expansion has been provided by corporations and foundations; including ExxonMobil, Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and others; and matched by the DoD. DoDEA, in collaboration with the National Defense Education Program (under the auspices of the Director, Defense Research and Evaluation, will fund a $4.8M, three-year grant to the National Math and Science Initiative for 11 of the 32 high schools. The grant is aimed at increasing student participation and performance in Advanced Placement courses in mathematics, science and English. The National Math and Science Initiative for Military Families is a joint endeavor to expand a program that provides consistent, high-level coursework in high schools serving military. Month of the Military Child Activities Continue Throughout DoDEA The Department of Defense Education Activity joins all of DoD and military communities around the world in honoring military children during April- The Month of the Military Child. Throughout the month, DoDEA will encourage schools to plan special events to honor military children and have Providing policy, tools, and resources to further enhance the quality of life of service members and their families.
administrators and principals incorporate the themes of this month into their daily duties and responsibilities. These efforts and special events will stress the importance of providing children with quality services and support to help them succeed in the mobile military lifestyle. See the http://www.dodea.edu/dodeaCelebrates/2011_militaryChild/index.cfm To see current videos, go to http://www.dodea.edu/dodeaCelebrates/2011_militaryChild/index.cfm?cId=videos## Earth Day is April 22nd Many DoDEA schools will be participating in Earth Day, April 22, 2011. The first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, was attended by 20 million Americans nationwide, from college campuses to town halls, and giant teach-ins were organized in New York City and Philadelphia, the latter event turning into a seven-day event known as Earth Week. That event set a powerful precedent for the rest of the world, eventually inspiring more than 140 nations all around the globe to have their own Earth Days.From the Family Advocacy Program Office Marine Corps Base Quantico Leadership and Family Programs Showcase PSA The Marine Corps Base Quantico leadership and family program staff yesterday showcased a public service announcement/video to highlight Child Abuse Prevention Month. The video was developed and produced by staff in the installations Family Advocacy Program and Marine Corps Community Service Marketing offices. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpZIkUJ43-MFrom the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Office CHEETAH Satellites boost morale in a big way A recent DoD video clip shows that contacting home is not always easy for servicemembers, especially for the ones serving at small, remote combat outposts or Forward Operating Bases. Air Force Sgt. George Maddon takes us to the Operations Coordination Center - District Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, to see a little dish thats boosting morale in a big way. To see the CHEETAH in action, go to http://www.dodvclips.mil/?pid=WhRowdGLrkB4cXu_IZmYkqF0Zfy0fcOFrom the Office of Family Policy/Children and Youth First Lady, Dr. Biden Kick Off Sesame, USO Tour Calling out over thousands of screaming fans, Elmo introduced a few new friends to Sesame Street here yesterday. First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, stepped onto the auditorium stage and into the arms of Elmo and friends as a crowd of local military and community families stood and cheered. Obama and Biden hosted a concert-style event here yesterday to thank military families as well as to encourage community members to support and honor them as part of their "Joining Forces" military family support initiative. The event also helped to kick off the fifth installment of the Sesame Street and USO Experience for Military Families, a free traveling tour exclusively for military families. For the April through June tour schedule, see http://www.uso.org/sesame-2011-tour-schedule/. Planners are currently working on the remainder of summer schedule; check the site for updated information. To find out more about the event, see http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=63571.
Free Camp Opportunity in the Poconos for Air Force YouthIsland Lake Camp Offers Free Spaces to Military Youth: Island Lake Camp, located in the PoconoMountains, Pennsylvania, will provide free summer camp spaces for youth 8-13 years old during theweeks of Aug. 2-15, 2011. Youth receive interest-based instruction to help develop poise andmastery of skills in a variety of areas. Interested Air Force youth must submit a scholarship formwhich includes a letter that describes, "The reasons why I should be selected to go to Island LakeCamp." The form is available at Air Force Youth Programs or by downloading from thisCommunity of Practice link, https://afkm.wpafb.af.mil/DocView.asp?DocID=10857703.Military OneSource Webinars – April Sessions AnnouncedWebinars are Web-based training sessions using teleconference audio and the internet to deliver aninteractive seminar. All posted times are listed in Eastern Daylight Savings Time. For moreinformation, see http://www.militaryonesource.com/MOS/OnlineCommunity/Webinars.aspx iCan Achieve – Teen weight management Program overview, Tuesday, April 19, at 11 a.m. iCanAchieve is a 12-month program for teens ages 13 to 18 that will support their weight management efforts. The program focuses on helping teens make behavioral changes that will allow them to set and achieve their goals. The program, based on scientifically proven methods, includes telephonic health coaching, a health assessment, online tools, and educational information. Come hear about how this valuable program can benefit your teenager. Digital Literacy for Kids, Monday, April 25, 2011, 10 a.m. Get AD-ucated! Help kids improve their digital literacy – talk to them about staying safe online, being good digital citizens, and thinking critically about the advertisements all around them. Sleep Strategies for Infants and Children, Friday, April 29, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. Getting infants and young children to sleep – and stay asleep – can be a tremendous source of stress for parents. This webinar is designed to help parents learn about children‟s sleep patterns at different stages of development and explore effective ways of helping their children fall asleep and sleep through the night. Participants will be able to learn about children‟s sleep patterns at different stages of development, explore specific sleep problems, identify conditions that disrupt sleep for young children, and learn strategies for establishing a nighttime routine.For more information on these and other upcoming Webinars, seehttp://www.militaryonesource.com/MOS/OnlineCommunity/Webinars.aspx “Forging the Partnership” – Registration is still open, but the clock is ticking…. The windy city of Chicago provides a beautiful urban backdrop to the 2011 DoD/USDA Family Resilience Conference. Each day of the conference will offer a wide range of high quality workshops, computer labs, program showcases, keynote addresses, research presentations, research posters and interacts. Gather your colleagues and collaborators, andplan to experience this professional development opportunity! Plan to attend two town hallmeetings – one with the Services‟ senior enlisted advisors and the second with Service spiritualadvisors. We look forward to seeing you at the Hyatt Regency April 27- 29. Seehttp://www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil/FRC2011.
From the Resale and NAF Policy Office Commissary On-Site Sale Events The Guard/Reserve On-site Sales Program provides the commissary benefit to deserving Guard/Reserve members and their families who live in areas that aren‟t close to an existing commissary store. These sales are not only for the Guard and Reserve – theyre for any authorized shopper. Currently, there are no on-site sales for online ordering. For more information, visit http://www.commissaries.com/guard_reserve_sales.cfm In the next few weeks, DeCA will deliver the benefit: April 19-20 Guard and Reserve San Nicola Island, Port Mugu, Calif. April 21-22 Air National Guard Tulsa, Okla. April 27-30 U.S. Southern Command Doral, Florida April 30 186th Engineers Caribou, Maine April 30 Reserves Camp Joseph T. Robinson North Little Rock, Okla.In the News From the American Forces Press Service – Voluntary Departure Authorization From Japan Ends The Defense Departments voluntary authorized departures for service members eligible family members to leave Japan in the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake effectively ended today. "The Defense Department concurs with the State Departments determination that the situation in Japan does not pose significant risk to U.S. citizens," a Pentagon spokeswoman said. "We will continue to ensure the safety of our families is at the forefront of every decision we make." The DoD termination follows the State Departments lifting of the voluntary departure order for DoD eligible family members to depart from Honshu, Japan. More than 7,800 family members stationed at U.S. military bases throughout Japan were flown to various U.S. locations following the magnitude 9.0 earthquake, the tsunami it caused, and subsequent problems with several of Japans nuclear reactors. See http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=63583 From the American Forces Press Service – New Consumer Protection Office Seeks Input Treasury Department officials met here today with service members and their families to better understand financial challenges in the military community. Holly Petraeus, head of the Office of Servicemember Affairs in the Treasury Departments Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has been traveling to military posts throughout the country and leading dialogues with troops and their families since January. See http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=63547 From the American Forces Press Service – Organization Honors Service Members’ Children “Our Military Kids,” a national nonprofit organization, honored four children and a military family here yesterday in an award ceremony at the Navy Memorial. During the organization‟s “Our Military Kids of the Year” event, retired Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace –16th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Our Military Kids advisory board member – spoke on the importance of the families service members leave behind when they deploy, especially the children of those
families. “Our military families serve as well as anyone who has ever worn a uniform,” Pace said. “And these military children have demonstrated amazing talent, resilience and strength.” See http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=63570 From the American Forces Press Service – Department Program Works to Prevent Child Abuse Child abuse and neglect can affect all levels of society, but for military families, help and support are at their fingertips. The military‟s strong sense of community gives servicemembers and their families an advantage in preventing abuse and neglect, said Tib Campise, a senior program analyst for the Defense Department‟s family advocacy program. See http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=63546 From American Forces Press Service – First Lady, Dr. Biden to ‘Shine Light’ on Military Families First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden said they have spoken with countless military families in their travels and have heard some "breathtaking" stories of service and sacrifice. Theyve talked to wives dealing with fourth and fifth deployments, to children stepping up to care for their families, and to caregivers who walked away from jobs and homes to care for a wounded loved one. Its now time, they said, for the rest of the nation to hear these stories. See http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=63533 From DoDEA‟s Press Room – DoDEA Celebrates the Month of the Military Child Children of military families represent our country in ways that makes any American proud. They are ambassadors who build bonds and make lasting connections and contributions to our nation and world. They are adventurers; often leading mom and dad to the local museums, tourist sites, shops and eateries. They are linguists; learning languages through immersion and foreign language instruction classes and building bridges between cultures with just a simple smile or a friendly wave. See http://www.dodea.edu/dodeaCelebrates/2011_militaryChild/index.cfm?cId=vi From DoDEA‟s Press Room – „The Chat Room’ features Bart Epstein from Tutor.com Chat Room guest, Bart Epstein from tutor.com, talks about this valuable DoD resource for military students. “Are you a military student who needs immediate help with your homework? Join us in this edition of the Chat Room to discover a free help program for DoD students….” See http://www.dodea.edu/pressroom/video.cfm.Tips of the Week Parenting Tip of the Week – Summer trips with kids can be fun! As a parent, you may already be planning family trips for this summer. Let your children be involved with the planning process; whether they‟re able to help create a packing list or can research museums or other places they want to visit, let each family member participate with planning for the trip. Take advantage of the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation‟s Information, Tickets, and Tours – ITT – program, which provides discounted tickets for local and regional group tours and attractions, theme parks, and movie tickets. Contact your nearest MWR office to check on availability. Additionally, this summer, the National Endowment for the Arts is continuing its initiative with museums across the country to offer servicemembers and their families free or reduced admission
from Memorial Day, May 30th through Labor Day, September 5th. For a list of participatingmuseums, visit http://www.arts.gov/national/bluestarmuseums/index2011.php. Nutrition Tip of the Week – Quick Meals in 30 Minutes or LessYou are on the way home from work and need to grab something quick for dinner. Instead of hittinga fast food restaurant try these quick, easy tips on how to make healthy choices. Keep some of thesefoods in stock at your house for 30-minutes-or-less dinners that are sure to please. With some simpletips and tools, it‟s easy to make meals that are nutritious, quick and tasty. Tips to make Healthy Food Choices Choose this instead of this to save this rotisserie chicken fried save 150 calories and get less fat per serving chicken quick brown rice french fries save 180 calories and get 3 grams fiber per serving bake your own french fries save 100 calories and get less fat french fries baked sweet french fries save 100 calories and get 4 grams fiber, potato potassium, and less fat per serving whole wheat white dinner get 3 grams of fiber per serving dinner rolls rollsFor more information on making healthy and nutritious food choices, check out the Commissary‟swebsite at http://www.commissaries.com/ Let‟s Move/Childhood Obesity Tip of the Week – How Teens Can Stay FitAny type of regular, physical activity can improve your fitness and your health. The mostimportant thing is that you keep moving!Exercise should be a regular part of your day, like brushing your teeth, eating, and sleeping. It canbe in gym class, joining a sports team, or working out on your own. Keep the following tips inmind: Stay positive and have fun. A good mental attitude is important. Find an activity that you think is fun. You are more likely to keep with it if you choose something you like. A lot of people find its more fun to exercise with someone else, so see if you can find a friend or family member to be active with you. Take it one step at a time. Small changes can add up to better fitness. For example, walk or ride your bike to school or to a friends house instead of getting a ride. Get on or off the bus several blocks away and walk the rest of the way. Use the stairs instead of taking the elevator or escalator. Get your heart pumping. Whatever you choose, make sure it includes aerobic activity that makes you breathe harder and increases your heart rate. This is the best type of exercise because it increases your fitness level and makes your heart and lungs work better. It also burns off body fat. Examples of aerobic activities are basketball, running, or swimming.
Dont forget to warm up with some easy exercises or mild stretching before you do any physical activity. This warms your muscles up and may help protect against injury. Stretching makes your muscles and joints more flexible too. It is also important to stretch out after you exercise to cool down your muscles.Your goal should be to do some type of exercise every day. It is best to do some kind of aerobicactivity without stopping for at least 20 to 30 minutes each time. Do the activity as often as possible,but dont exercise to the point of pain. For more information see:http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/teen/fitness/pages/How-Teens-Can-Stay-Fit.aspx Financial Tip of the Week – Credit Card Ripoffs to AvoidWhile „waiting for the system‟ to confirm a new credit card account, the customer servicerepresentative on the other end of the telephone line often rattles off a series of special offers likepayment protection plans, over-the-limit protection, buyers clubs or identity-theft protection. If youhave special needs, the services can sometimes be useful. Anticipating that youll never squeezemaximum value from these add-on services, here are some offers that can turn even the best creditcards into a high-priced plastic nightmare: Payment protection. If you cant work or youve lost your job, protection plans „cover‟ your payment. Warning: Fees for some plans can cost as much as 5 percent of your average monthly balance. Read the fine print. Your bank may even hit you with high penalty annual percentage rates (APR) after your „insurance‟ kicks in. Over-limit protection. The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure – „CARD‟ – Act of 2009 requires that consumers opt-in to allow over-limit purchases. Now, issuers of even the best credit cards are positioning over-limit protection as a valuable premium service to help you avoid embarrassment at the checkout counter. Warning: According to a survey of major banks in 2010, youll pay around $39 for each incident. Opting in to over-limit protection may even negate federal regulations that cap penalties. Frequent buyer clubs. For decades, marketing companies paid to have their catalogs arrive at consumers doorsteps along with credit card statements. Today, affinity buying clubs have evolved to include members-only websites that promise deep discounts and bonus rewards for specialized purchases. Warning: The fraud trackers warn that its harder than ever to spot the difference between a legitimate buying club and a scammer that bought your name on a banks mailing list. With coupons and price protection easy to find on the web, these clubs rarely save much money. Discount travel clubs. Like frequent buyer clubs, large travel agencies often promise preferential treatment and special perks to cardholders. Warning: Most likely airlines and hotels will cut you even better deals when you eliminate the middleman and reserve travel on their own Web sites. Identity theft protection. Credit reporting agencies have amped up consumer offerings to include near-real-time alerts when applications for new accounts or other signs of fraud appear.
Warning: Credit bureaus must offer you a free credit report at least once per year, which can be easily obtained through the Web site AnnualCreditReport.com at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp. You can also visit your installation personal financial managers to receive your MyFICO score.Separating service from signup. The technique of offering test drives and no-risk samples is onereason why these credit card add-ons have raised concern. Making it all the more complicated,you may not really know with whom you are dealing. Therefore, check your credit cardstatements regularly for charges you dont recognize. Remember, if you cant wait a day to makea decision, you probably dont need that service, anyway.Military OneSource Tip of the Week – Quick Tips for Traveling with a Young ChildAs summer approaches, you may be looking forward to a vacation or a PCS move. But if you‟re aparent, you may be anxious about traveling with a young child. Children don‟t always adjustquickly to new environments or changes to their routines. Fortunately, there are steps you can taketo make traveling with a young child easier. Choose child-friendly destinations and places to stay. There are hotels and resorts that cater to young families. These places may offer accommodations, programs, or activities designed especially for children. Also consider attractions that will appeal to your child, such as a children‟s museum or an aquarium. Avoid over-scheduling. If you try to do too much, you are likely to end up with a cranky, over- stimulated child. Instead, limit the number and type of activities you do. Most young children will do best with one big activity a day. Remember to make room for downtime, too. Be realistic about what you expect from your child. Though you may want to sightsee, visit museums, or catch up on your reading while lying on the beach, your child may not be interested in any of these activities. This doesn‟t mean you have to plan your whole trip around your child‟s interests, but if you strive for a balance between activities you enjoy and activities your child enjoys, you will both be happier. Try to stick to a routine as much as possible. Children find routines comforting, so try to maintain your child‟s bedtime, naptime, and other routines as much as you can. This will also help your child ease back into her routines once you get home. Be sure to pack some familiar things that will help your child feel secure. A favorite snack, a beloved book or stuffed animal, or a game or video that your child enjoys can help you get through any difficult time on your trip.If you’re traveling by air Try to book flights during non-peak times. You can also try to schedule a flight that coincides with your child‟s naptime, but don‟t count on your child sleeping during a flight. The excitement of a new environment may keep your child awake. Request an aisle seat so that you won‟t have to climb over people when you child needs to go the bathroom or for a short walk. Be prepared for security checkpoints. All children, including babies, must be screened at security checkpoints. You will also need to send all of your baby equipment, such as car seats and strollers, through the X-ray machine. It‟s a good idea to talk with older children about what to expect at security checkpoints so they are not scared. For more information, visit the
Transportation Security Administration Web site at http://www.tsa.gov/ and read the section on traveling with children. Consider skipping the pre-boarding option, because it may mean that your child has to sit still for a longer period of time. Always allow extra time and check with the airline before you leave home. Delays or cancellations can be more difficult if you‟re traveling with young children.If you’re traveling by car Consider driving at night. Most children are comfortable sleeping in the car, so if you‟re comfortable driving at night, this may be a good way to make car trips easier on everyone. Make sure your child is comfortable. Take pillows and blankets to make resting easier. Plan for frequent rest stops, and give your child a chance to let off steam during these breaks by playing or visiting a playground if possible. Sing songs, read or listen to stories, or play simple games. Games like „Peek-a-boo‟ with infants and toddlers, or „I-spy‟ with pre-schoolers will help keep your child from becoming bored.Your Family Center can give you information and support on many issues that affectservicemembers and their families. And Military OneSource, a free 24/7 service from DoD,available to all active-duty, Guard, and Reserve members and their families, provides informationand referrals plus face-to-face counseling. Call 1-800-342-9647 or accesshttp://www.MilitaryOneSource.com.Spouse Tip – What’s Your Public Image on the Internet?Did you know that many potential employers “Google” their perspective employees before they hirethem? Yes, they certainly do! They look at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Blogs, and ahost of other online sources of information. Today‟s social network makes it easy. Internet searchengines pull it all together and paint a detailed, minute-to-minute picture of who you are, what youlook like, where you live, how you behave – and what you are saying and doing.Coupled with your job application and resume, this „real-time snapshot‟ is your first job interview,an interview you didn‟t even know you had. Without even talking to you, employers are comparingyou to others and deciding who gets an in-person job interview and job offer, and who doesn‟t.Smart military spouses know this and put their best foot forward beginning with their online publicimage!So, be strategic. Think like a hiring authority. Every time you post personal information, videos,photos and comments online, remember that career and employment decision-makers are watchingand reading.Here are some questions that will help you build an online-image that will put you on a path tocareer ladder success. Have you been professional, respectful and considerate in your online postings? Does your tone and language make others want to be around you or avoid you? Do others see you as a good leader? A solid, loyal, hard-working team player? A dedicated military spouse and community volunteer?
Do you inspire, help and encourage others to be the best they can be? What personal characteristics do you demonstrate that employers are looking for: honesty, trustworthiness, articulate communicator, responsible mature decision maker? Does your career, employment and education history show you have clear goals and are moving forward with your life? Are you involved in healthy, constructive issues and activities at the family, workplace, command and community levels? Can an employer see that you could be part of his or her business solution not his or her problem?It‟s all up to you. Make a plan. Reach out for the resources you need. Work hard to achieve yourgoals. And start painting that wonderful online picture of who you are still becoming. Take one stepat a time. Let Military OneSource Education, Career and Employment Counselors help – call(800) 342-9647. ####