Providing policy, tools, and resources to further enhance the quality of life of service members and their families.
This Week in MC&FP
November 5, 2010
This week, we joined the nation in celebration of military families. In publishing the
Military Family Month proclamation, President Obama reminds all Americans what we know so well –
families also serve – every day with courage and dignity. This November, we once again honor the
families of our armed forces and thank them for their dedicated service.
Have a good week and take care.
Your MC&FP Team
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From the DUSD on DoD‟s Family Matters Blog:
WASHINGTON, November 3, 2010 – Today and throughout the month of November – Military
Family Month – we join our nation in honoring military families. We are pleased to participate in
this national tribute because we know firsthand the contributions military families make. They
balance the demands of work and family life with an added dimension – having loved ones
deployed away from home, perhaps for the fourth or fifth time. Despite these challenges, military
families persevere and serve as an inspiration to us all.
A strong nation is made up of strong families; among the most resilient are our military families.
Angelica L. Jordan is DoDEA‟s Teacher of the Year
The Department of Defense Education Activity named Angelica L. Jordan as the 2011 DoDEA
Teacher of the Year. Jordan, a 15-year teaching veteran, is a Partial Spanish Immersion and
Spanish Foreign Language in the Elementary School teacher to second and third grade students
at Mannheim Elementary School in Mannheim, Germany. She has been teaching in DoDEA
schools for the past six years. The DoDEA Teacher of the Year competes for the title of
National Teacher of the Year. The program encourages teachers to take an active part in
educational leadership. As outstanding educators, those selected perform a variety of roles. They
promote the teaching profession and work with school officials to enhance the quality of
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teaching and the education of DoDEA students. To read more:
DoDEA Teachers Join the Civilian Expeditionary Workforce in Afghanistan
Five DoDEA teachers who volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan to teach English to Afghan
soldiers with the Civilian Expeditionary Workforce have been in country for several months.
Brenda Colom, one of the five, “jumped on the chance" when she received the e-mail
notification from DoDEA headquarters earlier this year. To read more:
Three DoDEA Teachers Named Presidential Awards for Excellence Finalists
Three DoDEA Teachers have been named finalists for The Presidential Awards for Excellence in
Mathematics and Science Teaching Program. Carol Fears, from Landstuhl Elementary
School/Middle School in Landstuhl, Germany, Ginger King, from Smith Elementary in
Baumholder, Germany, and Erika Meadows, from Hohenfels Elementary School in Hohenfels,
Germany, were chosen to represent DoDEA as semifinalists in the awards program. From these
three teachers, a national panel was charged to select one as the 2010 DoDEA Mathematics
winner. The selection for each state and province has been completed and the awardees will be
announced by the White House at a later date. The Presidential Awards for Excellence in
Mathematics and Science Teaching are the nation's highest honors for teachers of mathematics
and science. The Awards recognize outstanding K-12 teachers for their contributions in the
classroom and to their profession.
DoDEA Education Grant Recipient Wins Science and Engineering Contest
A DoDEA grant recipient, Muscogee County Georgia Schools, received national recognition for
a program they began as a result of receiving a DoDEA grant in 2009. Engineering.com and
Dassault Systèmes sponsored the Science Teacher Video Contest at the US Science &
Engineering Festival held in Washington, D.C. The contest drew entries from science and
engineering teachers across the country. Muscogee County Schools received a grant through the
2009 Promoting Student Achievement at Schools Impacted by Military Force Structure Changes
grant program. The grant is focused on alternative instructional methods, particularly in the area
of using technology, to assist in student learning. To watch the winning Vodcast visit the site:
AFN Shows How DoDEA‟s Schools Help Children During Deployment
DoDEA's Feltwell Elementary School in the U.K. has a new support program in place for
students who have a deployed parent. Armed Forces Network visited Feltwell and took a look at
the program in a video titled, "Helping Children During Deployment". The piece is a nice
reminder of the great support for our kids that is happening everyday in DoDEA schools around
the world. Go to: http://www.af.mil/news/video/index.asp Scroll down to the thumbnails and
click on "Helping Children During Deployment."
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From the Office of Communications
Applebee‟s and Golden Corral to Offer Veterans a Meal „On the House‟
This upcoming Veterans Day, Applebee's will thank our nation's veterans and active duty
military by inviting them to their neighborhood Applebee's for a free meal. Here are the details:
o All U.S. veterans and active duty personnel with proof of current or former military
service will eat free at all Applebee's in their respective neighborhoods on Veterans Day
o Proof of service includes the following: U.S. Uniform Services Identification Card, U.S.
Uniform Services Retired Identification Card, Current Leave and Earnings Statement,
Veterans Organization Card, photograph in uniform or wearing uniform, DD214, citation
Golden Corral restaurants will host their Military Appreciation Night on November 15th
5-9 p.m. with a free meal for all military active, retired and veterans. No proof is required to
enjoy this free buffet meal. This is their 10th year with this program. For more information see:
From the Office of Family Policy/Children and Youth
Military OneSource to Offer Family-Focused Webinars
In support of Military Family Month, Military OneSource will offer four Webinars. Webinars
are Web-based training sessions using teleconference audio and the Internet to deliver an
interactive seminar. All times listed are Eastern Time. For more information, see
- Health Coaching: What’s it all about?
Tuesday, Nov. 16, 11 a.m.
- Don’t Bust Your Budget
Wednesday, Nov. 17, 11 a.m.
- Managing Holiday Stress
Friday, Nov. 19, 12 p.m. Monday, Nov. 29, 7 p.m. (Eastern Time)
- The Sibling Battle
Monday, Nov. 22, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 30, 11 a.m.
College Grants Up For Grabs
The Air Force Aid Society plans to award up to 3,000 grants to dependents of Air Force
members for their college education through the General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant
Program. Applications for these $2,000 need-based grants are now available from the Society‟s
Web site. Completed forms must be received by AFAS no later than March 11, 2011.
The grant program is open to dependent children of active duty, Title 10 Reservists on extended
active duty, Title 32 AGR performing full-time active duty, retired, retired reservists and
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deceased Air Force members. Spouses of active duty members and surviving spouses of
deceased personnel are also eligible. All applicants must be enrolled as full-time undergraduates
at an accredited college or university during the 2011-2012 academic year, and are required to
maintain a minimum 2.0 Grade Point Average. For more information, see http://www.afas.org
“Forging the Partnership” Conference Planners Call for Proposals Deadline Extended
Thinking about presenting at the DoD/USDA 2011 Family Resilience Conference? Proposals
for workshops, computer labs, research posters, and program showcase exhibits are due
Friday, November 12, 2010.
And if you haven‟t done so yet, mark your calendar now to be in Chicago on April 27 - 29, 2011,
at the Hyatt Regency. The interagency conference, Forging the Partnership, will bring together
professionals from DoD and USDA and will build connections, competency and the capacity of
our agencies and programs.
The conference will feature keynote speakers, current youth and family research presenters,
interactive workshops and computer labs. For more information, see
DECA is delivering the benefit at the following Guard and reserve locations. For more
information, visit http://www.commissaries.com/guard_reserve_sales.cfm:
Nov. 12-13 Army National Guard Camp Beauregard, La.
Nov. 13-14 National Guard Columbus, Ohio
In the News
From the White House – President Obama Proclaims November as Military Family Month
“We owe each day of security and freedom that we enjoy to the members of our Armed Forces
and their families. Behind our brave service men and women, there are family members and
loved ones who share in their sacrifice and provide unending support. During Military Family
Month, we celebrate the exceptional contributions of our military families, and we reaffirm our
commitments to these selfless individuals who exemplify the highest principles of our Nation.”
From the American Forces Press Service – Military Connected Schools Benefit From Grants
The Department of Defense Education Activity awarded more than $38 million in grants this
year to public schools serving military children across the nation. Officials awarded the grants to
32 military-connected school districts to boost student achievement and ease the challenges
associated with military life, including deployments and frequent transitions, DoDEA officials
said. See: http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=61580
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From the Family Matters Blog – Air Guard Looks to Expand Home Child Care
When it comes to the Air National Guard, weekend child care is not just a matter of readiness,
it‟s sometimes an added expense that has some Guardsmen considering leaving the service.
That‟s why the Air National Guard is expanding a free childcare program for drill weekends.
Check out the Air National Guard article “Air Guard Looks to Expand Home Child Care
Program.” See: http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=61522
From the American Forces Press Service – DoD Takes Steps to Stop Bullying
It can begin with a single, seemingly harmless act: a taunt at recess, a snub in the lunch room or a
juicy piece of gossip posted to Facebook or Twitter. But each act, multiplied over time, can
equate to some devastating consequences, including shattered self-esteem, depression, fear and,
in the worst cases, suicide. See: http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=61511
Tips of the Week
Nutrition Tip of the Week -- Have you had your vitamin A today?
Yes, really. Vitamin A helps promote good vision, normal bone growth and reproduction. Leafy
greens like spinach, collards, turnip greens, kale, and green leaf lettuce and romaine are all good
sources. For more information on making healthy and nutritious food choices, check out the
Commissary‟s website at http://www.commissaries.com.
Parenting Tip of the Week – Be Part of Military Family Month
In his proclamation designating November as Military Family Month, President Obama points out
that even the smallest actions by neighbors and friends send a large message of profound gratitude to
service members and their families. With the holidays quickly approaching, consider taking action
by inviting another military family or a single service member(s) to spend a holiday with your
family. Get your children involved by having them help plan the menu, prepare the meal, or greet
guests as they arrive. Regardless of how big or small the action, the gesture is sure to be
appreciated. See your family center for more information.
Let‟s Move! Childhood Obesity Tip of the Week -- Discourage inactive pastimes for children
Set limits on the amount of time your family spends watching TV, playing video games, and being
on the computer.
Help your child find FUN things to do besides watching TV, like acting out favorite books or stories,
or doing a family art project. Your child may find that creative play is more interesting than TV.
Encourage your child to get up and move during commercials and discourage snacking when the TV
is on. For more information on helping overweight children see
Financial Tip of the Week – Get Your Credit Card Balance Under Control
Are you having trouble getting your credit card balances under control? Use these simple tips to stop
adding to your existing credit card debt and start regaining control of your finances.
Pay More Than the Minimum Balance. It's tempting to send in the minimum monthly payment
(often $15 to $25) when you're under financial duress. Don't do it. Not only will you never pay off
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your bill, but the interest rates that credit card companies charge will actually keep your bill growing
every month. Instead, send as large of a payment as you can afford to. Depending on your interest
rate, you're saving an average of 10-29% per year in interest on any balance that you manage to get
off your cards.
Don't Use Your Credit Card for Everyday Items. Except in extenuating circumstances, you should
have your budget under control enough that you can at least pay for your monthly necessities with
your monthly income. There's no need to incur interest charges on necessary items that you should
be paying for with your monthly income.
Be Wary of Credit Card "Rewards. The rewards you can earn from credit cards, while a nice perk,
are worth far less than the extra interest you'll accrue if you can't pay off the money you spend to
earn such bonuses. The credit card reward schemes that allow you earn points on your credit card
purchases often come out to a reward of 2% or less. Avoid signing up for multiple credit cards,
regardless of the sign-up bonuses they may offer. If you already know that you don't manage credit
cards well, don't give yourself more temptation in the form of more cards.
Say "No" to Cash Advances. Credit card companies employ tactics such as sending you checks in
the mail as often as once a week and encouraging you to use them to pay bills or treat yourself to
something nice, but only in the fine print do they mention that these checks are considered a cash
advance. Taking a cash advance is such a bad idea is that you start accruing interest the minute you
take the advance - unlike with regular credit card purchases, there is often no grace period. To add
insult to injury, the credit card company often won't consider the cash advance to be paid off until
you've paid off your balance for your other purchases.
Don't Ignore Your Debt. Some people become so stressed out or embarrassed by their credit card
debt that they simply stop opening their bills and pretend that the problem isn't there. If you're
feeling overwhelmed, you can call each of your credit cards and ask to renegotiate the terms of your
agreement. Ignoring your debt can also spur debt collectors into action, and with the unsavory
tactics some collectors are employing these days, you definitely don't want to do anything that might
put you on their radar.
Military OneSource Tip of the Week -- Recognizing Depression in Children and Adolescents
Talk with your child's pediatrician if your child shows these symptoms of depression:
Frequent vague physical complaints. These might include headaches, muscle aches, stomach
aches, or tiredness.
Poor performance in school. A sudden drop in grades or frequent absence from school.
Efforts to run away from home. Even if your child is only talking about running away, it's
cause for concern.
Loss of interest in activities that your child usually enjoys.
Difficulty with relationships. For example, an adolescent may feel unable to "move on"
after a break-up.
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Alcohol or substance abuse
Social isolation, poor communication; lack of interest in playing with friends; increased
irritability, anger, or hostility;
Outbursts of shouting, complaining, unexplained irritability, or crying.
Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt
A preoccupation with death or talk of suicide. A child's comments about death or suicide
must be taken seriously. Contact a health professional immediately if there is talk of suicide.
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 – Education Opportunities Available
Many spouses think they have to start their education all over again when they „PCS „with their
military sponsor. This is not the case when a spouse attends school that is a member of the
Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges consortium. With more than1,900 schools to select from that
allow evaluation of previous experience and schooling, and credit for non-traditional learning,
spouses have available to them the same „traveling‟ degree program as their military sponsor.
Key features include:
Home College -- the SOCAD/SOCNAV/SOCMAR/SOCCOAST college that offers the
degree you wish to pursue.
Reduced academic residency. You only have to complete 25 percent or less (30 percent for
completely online programs) of degree requirements with your home college.
Credit for non-traditional learning. The network colleges award credit for military
experience and training based on American Council on Education recommendations, and
standardized tests such as CLEP and DSST, where it is appropriate to the degree plan.
Student Agreement -- Your home college agrees to issue a student agreement (evaluation of
completed and remaining degree requirements) by the time you complete six semester hours
of credit with that college. This serves as a „contract for degree‟ between you and your home
college and remains in effect even if you leave the military.
Guaranteed course transfer – Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Degree Network System
core member institutions guarantee transfer of courses in their course categories, so that
courses may be transferred back to the home college without prior approval. Courses mapped
to the course categories appear on the student agreement and in the transferability tables in
Chapter 8 of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Degree Network System Handbooks.
To learn more see http://www.soc.aascu.org/