2011 04 08 this week in mcfp april 8, 2011 (1)

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2011 04 08 this week in mcfp april 8, 2011 (1)

  1. 1. http://www.health.mil/blog/10-06-24/Family_Resiliency_Webinar.aspx. This Week in MC&FP April 8, 2011 ____________________________________ As we prepare this week‟s issue, we await a final federal budget decision. In theevent that a resolution is not reached and a government shutdown takes place, only mission-essentialwork will be accomplished in our office. Should that happen, production of “This Week” will bediscontinued until staff returns from furlough. In the meantime, have a good week and take care. Please note: Some hyperlinks in this text are lengthy, sometimes extending more than one line. For bestresults, cut and paste the entire link into your Web browser.From the DASD Continuing Family Support During a Government Shutdown The Military Community and Family Policy team provides quality of life programs to servicemembers and their families worldwide. Our programs and services range from commissaries, exchanges and MWR to child and youth centers, family programs and centers, and family advocacy. A government shutdown would furlough much of our global workforce and affect programs, some more than others. We have identified those family support missions and functions that will continue in the event of a government shutdown. Here is a list of some of our programs and how they will operate: - Department of Defense Education Activity – DODEA – Schools will remain open. - Commissaries will remain open world-wide. - Exchanges will remain open world-wide. - Child Development Centers will remain open with priority given to service members and DoD civilians supporting mission-essential operations. - Family Support Center staffing will be determined by installation commanders. - Military OneSource http://www.militaryonesource.com Web site and call center will remain fully operational - MilitaryHOMEFRONT http://www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil will remain fully operational Military Family Life Counselors are available and will telework if office access is prohibited - Family Advocacy Program Each Service will determine staffing at each installation. - MWR – Morale Welfare and Recreation programs will close. However, installation lodges will remain open. Providing policy, tools, and resources to further enhance the quality of life of service members and their families.
  2. 2. This Week in MC&FP April 8, 2011 - Education Centers for family members and servicemembers will be closed. This includes counseling services, testing centers, learning centers and computer labs. Tuition assistance will not be authorized or granted. - MyCAA – Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts will remain available and are unaffected by the furlough. Information about other important services: - On-Installation Banks and Credit Unions will remain open for business to provide normal services. They can also provide free financial education and counseling. - Servicemembers who encounter financial difficulties caused by the government shutdown are eligible for support through the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and financial aid from service organizations. We at MC&FP serve more than 2.2 million uniformed service members, 1.1 million civilian spouses and 1.8 million military children. Their care and support is a top national security priority, and it‟s our mission. See http://www.dodlive.mil/index.php/2011/04/continuing-family-support-during-a- government-shutdown/From DoDEA DoDEA Holds 21st Century School Design Criteria and Guidelines Symposium The symposium identified requirements and outlined the path forward for 21st Century school construction. Forty subject-matter experts from across the country and additional attendees representing various elements of OSD discussed the impact of both technology and education on 21st Century school design. While a broad range of focus points were established, a recurring theme was robust technology infrastructure support and facilities that are both flexible and adaptable to support a variety of educational deliveries. Opening remarks were provided by Mr. Robert Gordon, DASD, MC&FP. Key speakers were Principal Deputy Director & Associate Director for Education, Mr. Charles Toth; Associate Director for Financial and Business Operations, Mr. Kevin Kelly; and Senate Armed Services Committee professional staff member Mr. Lucien L. Niemeyer. „Sea of Pink‟ Campaign Delivers Valuable Life Lessons Children from Vogelweh Elementary School, Germany, recently participated in The Sea of Pink Campaign. The program encourages students to wear pink clothing to show they are against bullying and to find ways to stand up for their friends and seek help. One school guidance counselor says the day was full of valuable lessons. From Armed Forces Network – Europe, see http://www.afneurope.net/Home/ArticleDisplayDD/tabid/649/aid/17919/Default.aspx Acting Director visits schools in Japan DoDEA Acting Director, Ms. Marilee Fitzgerald, spent several days this week visiting Yokota Air Base, Yokosuka Naval Base, Camp Zama and Atsugi Naval Air Station, Japan. While there she visited DoDEA Schools, made office calls with command leadership, and conducted town hall meetings with parents and staff.Page 2
  3. 3. This Week in MC&FP April 8, 2011From the Family Advocacy Program Office Presidential Proclamation – April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month Our Nations children are our hope for the future, and caring for them is one of our greatest responsibilities. During National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we renew our commitment to preventing child abuse and neglect by promoting healthy families, protecting children, and supporting communities throughout our Nation. See http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/03/31/presidential-proclamation-national- child-abuse-prevention-monthFrom the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Office Looking for an opportunity of a lifetime? The CEW seeks a few good people – maybe you! The Civilian Expeditionary Workforce is looking for professionals to serve in Afghanistan. For details, see http://www.cpms.osd.mil/expeditionary; click on „Career Fields,‟ select a CoCom (CENTCOM), select a location (Afghanistan), select a function (other), sort (title) and click on „SEARCH.‟ Then scroll down to see the listing for the following quality of life duty positions.  Morale, Welfare and Recreation Officer, GS-14. Duties include planning and coordinating with all regional commands the movement of entertainment and MWR equipment across the area of operations.  Deputy, Morale, Welfare and Recreation Officer, GS-12. Duties include supervising the day-to- day operation of the program offices and serving as command liaison to the Army Continuing Education Centers, AAFES, Stars and Stripes and the USO.  Transportation Coordinator, GS-9/11. Duties include coordinating and executing all aspects of entertainment tours in the area of operation.  Education Service Officer, GS-9/11. Duties include developing, directing, and conducting the overall ACES program.  Education Service Officer, GS-9/11. Duties include developing, directing and conducting part of the ACES program; developing needs assessment surveys and design, and conducting and analyzing surveys to evaluate current status and needs in education and training. YMCA Membership Update: DoD- sponsored memberships top the 100,000 mark this month More than 45,000 military members and 61,000 family members have taken advantage of the program through March. In addition, close to 10,000 families have participated in the respite care program offered by the YMCA. The YMCA program is offered to families of deployed National Guard and Reserve personnel (on Title 10 orders) and their family members along with those on active duty military assigned to an independent duty location without free access to fitness facilities. In addition, wounded warriors assigned to a Community Based Warrior in Transition Unit are also afforded membership while they are assigned to the unit. Respite care is available at participating YMCA‟s offering 16 hours of care per month, per child. Participants continue to provide positive comments on their experience in the program.Page 3
  4. 4. This Week in MC&FP April 8, 2011From the Office of Family Policy/Children and Youth Military OneSource Webinars – April Sessions Announced Webinars are Web-based training sessions using teleconference audio and the internet to deliver an interactive seminar. All posted times are listed in Eastern Daylight Savings Time. For more information, see http://www.militaryonesource.com/MOS/OnlineCommunity/Webinars.aspx  New TRICARE Young Adult Program, Monday, April 11, 2011, at 11:00 a.m. The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2011 included a provision to extend premium-based health coverage to eligible dependent children until age 26, similar to the provision in the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Tune into this informative Webinar to find out who qualifies for the new TRICARE Young Adult program. You‟ll learn when you can enroll, what coverage to expect, and how much it will cost. Please note that this event requires registration. To register, go to: https://www323.livemeeting.com/lrs/8000084292/Registration.aspx?pageName=83qvxj6jdkqcn4gd  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, see http://www.militaryonesource.com/MOS/OnlineCommunity/Webinars.aspx Consumer Product Safety Commission Recalls Infant Bed-side Sleeper, Pampers®Pacifier In cooperation with the Consumer Product- Safety Commission, manufacturers recalled two products used by infants.  Arms Reach Concepts recalled infant bed-side sleepers due to entrapment, suffocation and fall hazards. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled bed-side sleepers and visit http://www.armsreach.com/instructions to view and download assembly instructions and to make sure that the product is properly configured. Consumers should also contact the companyPage 4
  5. 5. This Week in MC&FP April 8, 2011 by phone or via the company Web site to receive hard-copy instructions by mail and an assembly/warning label. Consumers who are missing the fabric liner or other components should immediately contact Arms Reach for an alternative remedy. For additional information, contact Arms Reach at (800) 954-9353 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. EST Monday through Friday, or visit the firms Web site. For additional information, see http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11187.html  Pampers®Natural Stages pacifiers were recalled by Key Baby LLC due to a choking hazard. Consumers should immediately take the recalled pacifiers away from infants and contact Key Baby for instructions on returning the product for a full refund or $10 coupon toward the purchase of any Pampers® Natural Stages products. For additional information, contact Key Baby toll-free at (800) 447-1224 anytime, or visit the companys Web site at http://www.key- baby.com. See http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11188.html“Forging the Partnership” – Registration to close March 31st! You can be last, just don‟t be late! Have you registered for the conference yet? Plan to join us at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, April 27- 29. Registration closes March 31st so don‟t wait any longer – register now! See http://www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil/FRC2011. The conference will offer more than 200 presentations including: keynotes, research presentations, workshops, interacts and computer workshops. Topic areas will address early childhood, school- age, teens, parent/family, health, and community capacity building. In addition, the conference will include more than 80 program showcases and more than 40 research posters. Plan to attend two town hall meetings – one with the Services‟ senior enlisted advisors and the second with religious ministry. Be part of this unique experience – see you in Chicago!From the Office of Strategic Outreach MC&FP‟s April/May eMagazine „Celebrating Military Children‟ Published We are proud to present the April/May 2011 edition of the Military Community and Family Policy eMagazine! Please visit http://apps.mhf.dod.mil/mcfp/emag to read about the latest program updates and information. In this issue, we celebrate our military children and youth who also serve. April is both the Month of the Military Child and Child Abuse Prevention Month. We at MC&FP would like to take this opportunity to share with all our readers ways to protect our military children and youth, invest in their education and support programs that help them thrive. Our next issue will be published in June. Want to subscribe? It should only take a few seconds to complete the on-line form. See http://apps.mhf.dod.mil/pls/psgprod/f?p=AMS:SUBSCRIBE:3484019724587894Page 5
  6. 6. This Week in MC&FP April 8, 2011From 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 14-17 Guard and Reserve Chattanooga, Tenn. April 15-16 National Guard LaGrande, Ore. April 15-16 Air National Guard North Platte, Neb. April 15-16 Guard and Reserve Swanton, Georgia April 15-17 Texas Air National Guard Houston, Texas April 15-17 Oregon National Guard Redmond, Ore. April 16 Guard and Reserve Fort Wayne, Ind. April 19-20 Guard and Reserve Fort Myer, Calif.In the News From the American Forces Press Service -- Department Hosts Adventure Camps for Kids Whether it‟s kayaking down a river, backpacking through the forest or racing “high-adventure style,” military teens with a thirst for adventure will have a host of options to choose from this year. See http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=63494 From DoD Live – Family Focus Friday, Military Kids Speak I, as a military child, have experienced and suffered from my dad‟s deployments three times. Experiencing this is not easy because no one wants a father to be away. Feelings that I did not think I had just came out of me and I realized that I missed him. The feeling most likely to be found in a military family is sadness. Sadness is not a good feeling because it could lead to depression. I want people to listen to what I have to say and realize what military children go through. See http://www.dodlive.mil/index.php/2011/04/family-focus-friday-military-kids-speak-by- lauriliz-mulero/# From the Pentagon Channel Report – Five Protective Factors to Prevent Child Abuse Top Focus During National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Military Community and Family Policy is renewing its unwavering commitment to protecting children and promoting healthy families. A Pentagon Channel interview with MC&FP‟s Tib Campise and news story this week looks at factors which serve to promote strong parenting and reduce the likelihood of abuse or neglect. See http://www.pentagonchannel.mil/?pid=bVWzXx6o8mCpSTFZSPc3u_XG3FL5jPmG.Page 6
  7. 7. This Week in MC&FP April 8, 2011 From the Pentagon Channel – Five Military Children ‘of the Year’ Lauded for Their Service Five military children were recognized for their resilience, strength, character and achievements April 7 during Operation Homefronts Military Child of the Year awards ceremony held in Arlington, Va. See http://www.dodvclips.mil/?pid=JyAJu2hSkZwp4cCs9qGbcs5QmTYBnDPQTips of the Week Nutrition Tip of the Week – Enjoy Green Tea Time Today Want a boost for your health? Try a cup of hot or cold green tea brimming with antioxidants instead of the usual soda or coffee. Available in bags, loose leaves, bottles, and cans, green tea contains the antioxidants known as catechins which are beneficial for good health. Drinking green tea may help reduce the risk for coronary heart disease, as well as for stomach, throat and skin cancers. For more information on green tea and making healthy food choices, check out the Commissary‟s Web site at http://www.commissaries.com/ Parenting Tip of the Week – Celebrate the Month of the Military Child All Month Long In honor of the Month of the Military Child, installations of all Services have planned a month packed with special activities, such as parades, carnivals, and block parties. However, you choose to celebrate this month and throughout the year, help your children feel appreciated and to understand that they serve in many ways. You can find ideas for family activities at http://www.bblocks.samhsa.gov/family/activities/family_activities/default.aspx. You can also check with your installation, command Web sites, and local media for Month of the Military Child events near you. Let‟s Move/Childhood Obesity Prevention Tip of the Week – Yoga for kids: A good idea? Research on the benefits of yoga for kids is limited. Anecdotal reports suggest that yoga can calm children, reduce obesity, enhance concentration and help children manage certain health conditions, such as headaches and irritable bowel syndrome. Studies suggest that yoga may also benefit children who have various mental and physical disabilities. Yoga may even help children who have eating disorders lessen their preoccupation with food. More studies, however, are needed to confirm the positive health effects of yoga for kids. At the least, yoga can be a gentle method for your child to get more physical activity and enhance his or her well-being. What happens during a typical yoga class for kids?  Warm-up. Your child will remove his or her shoes and may lie down or sit cross-legged on the floor or on a chair. A special object – such as a yoga mat or pillow, clothing, or stuffed animal used only for yoga – may be used to signal that this is a time for relaxation. The instructor may encourage your child to quiet his or her mind, perhaps by closing his or her eyes and imagining a problem disappearing.  Breathing. Your child will be encouraged to focus on breathing in and out slowly and deeply through the nose. In one technique, your child might imagine filling up his or her stomach with air like a balloon and then slowly releasing the air.  Postures. Gentle movements, including stretching, will help your child prepare to do postures that involve standing, sitting, twisting, balancing and bending. Some instructors provide pictures of plants, animals or objects to imitate. During each pose, your child may be remindedPage 7
  8. 8. This Week in MC&FP April 8, 2011 to breathe through his or her nose, to avoid forcing a position, and to stop if he or she experiences pain.  Relaxation. After completing a series of poses, your child may lie down on the floor on his or her back and close his or her eyes. The instructor may repeat a sound or phrase to encourage your child to concentrate on his or her breathing. Your child may also be encouraged to visualize experiences, such as lying on a cloud or floating through the sky.  Reawakening. As the class ends, your child will begin stretching or wiggling his or her body and slowly rise from the floor. Source – Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/yoga-for-kids/MY01401/METHOD=print Financial Tip of the Week – A New Way to Pay Off Credit Card Debt If you have credit card debt, you‟re going to have to work hard to get out of debt or attain an excellent credit score. Here are some approaches that may assist you to get out of credit debt:  Learn to live within your means. If you have credit card debt, it must not be on the same card that you use to make purchases because that makes it difficult to gauge whether your everyday spending is at a responsible level. Ideally, you should be paying for your everyday purchases in full each month. Once you fall into a routine of paying down the balance on this credit card every month, not doing so will be a shock and will serve as a warning that you‟re spending irresponsibly.  Lower your average monthly balance. Separating your debt from your spending also helps lower your average monthly revolving balance, which is the amount that your interest rate is applied to. Since you never revolve a balance on your everyday expense credit card, it never accrues interest. Only the debt on your other card does. Choosing to make do with a single credit card means that your interest rate will be applied to the sum of your debt and your monthly expenses, and your costs will be greater.  Control payment allocation. Isolating different credit needs also ensures that you won‟t carry multiple balances on the same card, as would be the case if you transferred a balance to your everyday card. This helps you save money because it allows you to apply monthly payments strategically in order to pay down the balance with the highest interest rate quicker.  Garner the lowest possible interest rates. You can get a pretty low interest rate on a single credit card, sure. But, can you get the lowest purchase APR, the lowest interest rate for balance transfers and the lowest regular rate? Not on any one credit card. However, if you get multiple credit cards, you could, of course, gather this collection of credit card attributes.  Maximize credit card rewards. Can you find one with the best cash back rewards, the best airline rewards, the best hotel rewards, the best rewards on gas purchases and the best rewards from your favorite store? In short, no. So, if you‟re debt-free and you pay your credit card bills in full each month, assemble the best collection of rewards credit cards in order to create a comprehensive package that fits your spending and lifestyle needs. Military OneSource Tip of the Week – Help Prepare Your Children for Your Deployment Whether this is your first deployment or your fifth, it can be difficult for your children. But, with a little pre-deployment planning and a positive attitude, you can help ease some of their stress. ThePage 8
  9. 9. This Week in MC&FP April 8, 2011 following ideas will help you and your family create special ways to stay in touch during your deployment:  Give your family a scrapbook or a special box to hold letters, drawings, and other souvenirs you send home. While you‟re deployed you can send them photographs or other keepsakes of your time overseas. Later you‟ll be able to tell them the stories behind those objects and photographs.  Hide small gifts or notes throughout your home, and jot down the location of each item. Choose gifts that are age-appropriate for your children, or write special notes of encouragement. Every few weeks during your deployment, send home (or email) a clue to lead your family to one of the gifts or notes.  Make time to spend alone with each of your children before you leave. This will give them a special memory of you to have while you‟re deployed.  Mark a map or globe where you will be located, unless the information is classified. As you travel, you can have your children mark on their map where you have gone. Mark locations of family members or friends in other parts of the world, too.  Make audio recordings or video recordings of yourself reading your children’s favorite storybooks. Ask your spouse to play these for your children before bedtime each evening when you‟re away.  Have your children help you pack, if there’s time. This will help them think and talk about your deployment and ask some of the questions they may be wondering about.  Ask your children for a special keepsake to bring with you on your deployment. You can carry it with you and take photographs with it while you are away to share with your children. Also, be sure to give your children a photograph of you in a special frame to keep near their beds.  Agree on a phrase you will each say before going to sleep. It could be as simple as, “Sweet dreams, goodnight.” Think of your children and spouse while you say it each night, and ask them to think of you when they say it each night.  Set up a blog or an online site where your spouse and children can share photographs and notes. If you will have access to a computer while you‟re deployed, you can set up a private Web site where your family can write and post pictures or videos to share with you.  Put your name on a prayer list at your place of worship, if that is your custom. This will give your family and the entire community the opportunity to pray for you each weekend. Your Family Center can give you information and support on many issues that affect service members 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 information and referrals plus face-to-face counseling. Call (800) 342-9647 or access http://www.MilitaryOneSource.com. Spouse Tip – Community Colleges: Getting the Biggest Bang for Your Education Buck For military spouses who are just beginning to explore post secondary education options, it‟s important to take a close look at what local community colleges have to offer before making a school choice or program of study decision. Not only do community colleges offer core academic courses (for example, freshman level English, history, math, science, social science) that lead to respected Associate Degrees in professional fields, they also provide the latest occupational and vocational course work that local and regional employers are demanding for growing industries. Completion of subject matter expert or technical course work leads to professional licenses andPage 9
  10. 10. This Week in MC&FP April 8, 2011 credentials needed for near term employment nation and worldwide – especially in fields such as health care, legal, financial services, information technology, trades, advanced manufacturing, and defense. Community colleges are also a great way to finish the first two years of classes required by four-year institutions for bachelor‟s and advanced degrees. So, instead of spending over a thousand dollars for one course, military spouses can spend a couple hundred dollars and get the same academic credit needed to get a job today that has a clear portable career ladder with upward mobility and predictable salary increases. Because community colleges are funded by state governments, their freshman level courses are designed to transfer to state funded four year colleges and universities – making them a perfect stepping stone to more advanced education and training needed in high demand fields such as teaching, nursing, information technology, business and accounting. So, think like a business manager. Ask yourself “How can I get the biggest bang for my education buck?” The answers to the following questions will help you compare schools and educational outcomes that lead to skill sets and credentials that are in demand by competitive local, national and global employers:  How much does each academic credit hour (or unit) cost? Multiply the unit cost by the number of units per course to get the total cost for each course.  What is the total cost of your entire program of study, including books, fees, equipment, supplies, and student loans (remember to include interest payments)?  What is the graduation rate for each school and program of study you are considering?  What degree, license or credential will you have when you graduate?  What jobs will you qualify for once you graduate?  What is the salary range for each of these jobs? See http:// www.CareerOneStop.org  Will you be able to afford to repay your student loans within a reasonable period of time given the salary you will be making once you find employment after graduation?  How many jobs in your chosen career field does the Department of Labor predict will be available in the locations where you expect to live as a military family  Do employers respect the school and program of study you have selected? Ask Human Resource professionals who work for the employers you want to work for. See http://www.CareerOneStop.org ####Page 10

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