Providing policy, tools, and resources to further enhance the quality of life of service members and their families.
This Week in MC&FP
October 22, 2010
We’ve had some beautiful fall days here recently – perfect runner’s weather for
Army’s Ten-Miler. We wish all the participants well and hope this great weather continues for those
planning a similar, but much longer, trek at the Marine Corps Marathon. We all know that skier’s weather
will be upon us soon enough!
Have a good week and take care.
Your MC&FP Team
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cut and past the entire link into your Web browser.
DoDEA Offers Parents Helpful Tips for Successful Parent-Teacher Conferences
Parent-Teacher conferences allow parents the opportunity to ask questions about their child's
classes or progress in school. These conferences are a great way to discuss how parents and
teachers can work together to help students perform at their best in school. See
DoDEA Hosts Successful Educational Partnership 2010 Grant Kickoff Meeting
DoDEA's Educational Partnership hosted a successful the 2010 Grant Kickoff event October
18th and 19th in Alexandria, Va. The Honorable Mr. Robert L. Gordon III, deputy under
secretary of defense for military community and family policy provided opening remarks for the
conference. In 2010, DoDEA's Educational Partnership awarded more than $38 million in grants
to public schools serving military children throughout the nation. The grants were awarded to 32
military-connected Local Education Agencies to increase student achievement and ease the
challenges military students face due to transitions and deployment. These schools, located
throughout the U.S., serve communities near more than 30 military installations. There are more
than 37,000 students from military families within these schools, and more than 190,000 total
DoDEA Schools to Participate in Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 23-31
DoDEA schools around the world will join military installations and schools throughout the
United States in participating in Red Ribbon Week, October 23-31, 2010. Sponsored by the
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National Family Partnership, Red Ribbon Week provides schools and families a perfect
opportunity to discuss the dangers of drug abuse and the benefits of a healthy and drug-free
lifestyle. The Red Ribbon Campaign is now the oldest and largest drug prevention program in
the nation, reaching millions of young people each year. For more information about Red
Ribbon Week activities at DoDEA schools, contact the principal of the school in your area.
DoDEA Customer Satisfaction Survey to Begin Nov. 1st
DoDEA will administer its biennial Customer Satisfaction Survey from November 1, 2010,
through December 15, 2010. The survey provides valuable feedback to DoDEA from its most
important customers – students and parents – about the quality of education it provides and areas
needing improvement. The 2010 DoDEA Customer Satisfaction Survey represents a departure
from tradition in that the survey will be open for a shorter window. It is administered to students
in grades 4-12 and sponsors for each child enrolled in DoD schools from Pre-kindergarten/
SureStart through 12th grade. As with prior Customer Satisfaction Surveys, participation
remains voluntary and maximum participation is encouraged in order to obtain reliable and valid
DoDEA Acting Director Meets with Command, School Leaders in Europe
DoDEA Acting Director, Ms. Marilee Fitzgerald, was on official travel this week to
Kaiserslautern, Ramstein, and Stuttgart, Germany, and also Vicenza and Naples, Italy. She
conducted office calls with the command leadership and visited DoDEA schools. While in
Vicenza, she participated in meetings and training sessions with the Overseas Federation of
Teachers and DoDEA Administrators in pre-decisional involvement under the new executive
order on labor management relations. She returns to Washington, D.C. next week.
From the Office of Family Policy/Children and Youth
Deaths prompt CPSC, FDA Warning on Infant Sleep Positioners
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) today warned consumers to stop using infant sleep positioners. Over the
past 13 years, CPSC and the FDA have received 12 reports of infants between the ages of 1
month and 4 four months who died when they suffocated in sleep positioners or became trapped
and suffocated between a sleep positioner and the side of a crib or bassinet. Most of the infants
suffocated after rolling from a side to stomach position. In addition to the reported deaths, CPSC
has received dozens of reports of infants who were placed on their backs or sides in sleep
positioners, only to be found later in potentially hazardous positions within or next to the sleep
positioners. See http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10358.html
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.
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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
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 (GPA). For more information, see
“Staying Strong as a Couple” Webinar Offered
Military OneSource will offer the Webinar, “Staying Strong as a Couple,” Monday, October 25,
2010 at 12:00 p.m. (EDT). The Webinar will address conflict and compromise, understanding
and trust. Staying strong as a couple is a constant challenge no matter how long you’ve been
together. This Webinar is designed to help you get through the common challenges that couples
face. You will be able to:
· Identify seven practices that serve as the core of satisfying marriages.
· Generate techniques for putting each practice into action.
· Discover effective ways to strengthen your couple relationship.
“Positive Discipline for Children” Webinar Offered
Military OneSource will offer the Webinar, “Positive Discipline for Children,” on Thursday,
October 28, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. (EDT) and on Friday, October 29, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).
Studies show that a positive approach to discipline is more effective than using punishment. An
alternative to nagging, yelling, and punishing, positive discipline involves helping a child learn
self-control. It's a matter of setting clear limits and expectations, and following through
consistently. Participants in this webinar will learn how to:
· Set limits
· Avoid daily battles
· Acknowledge and respond to your child’s feelings constructive ways
“Forging the Partnership” Conference Planners Call for Proposals
Thinking about presenting at the DoD/USDA 2011 Family Resilience Conference? Proposals
for workshops, computer labs, research posters, and program showcase exhibits are due
Wednesday, November 3, 2010.
If you haven’t done so yet, mark your calendar now to be in Chicago on April 26 - 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
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From the Office of Morale, Welfare and Recreation
2010 National Recreation and Park Association Congress – “Hot Topic” Session
Carol Potter will present an education session at the National Recreation and Park Association
Congress 2010 national conference about “Building Resilience for Healthy Families and
Communities in the Military” on Wednesday, October 27, in Minneapolis, Minn. Participants
will gain information about the current military environment, the challenges facing today’s
service members and their families, how recreation opportunities build resilience, and the
benefits of implementing recreation that impacts military readiness.
Based on session content and speaker qualifications, the congress has identified her session as a
“Hot Topic.” Sessions with this branding will receive special marketing in the preliminary and
final programs, on the association’s Web site, in promotional materials, and on-site.
AAFES Announces “My Hero” Essay Contest
A 300-word essay could be worth $2,000 in the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s “My
Hero” Essay Contest. To qualify, authorized shoppers must write an essay on their hero,
including what makes the nominee unique or what accomplishment or influence they have
The “My Hero” contest is open to for submissions by military members and all military ID card
holders who are 18-years-old or older at the time of entry. Essays of 300 words or less must
include name, address, daytime phone number, rank or occupation, as well as information
regarding the nominee (name, address and contact information).
DECA is delivering the benefit at the following Guard and reserve locations. For more
information, visit http://www.commissaries.com/guard_reserve_sales.cfm:
Oct 28-29 National Guard Tulsa, Okla.
Oct 28-29 Guard and Reserve Bourne, Mass.
Oct 30 Guard and Reserve Green Bay Wis.
In the News
From the American Forces Press Service – Family Care Plan Requirements Change A recent
change in Defense Department policy highlights why servicemembers and deployable civilians
who also are custodial parents may want to seek legal help in arranging their children’s care
during deployment. DoD Instruction 1342.19, “Family Care Plans,” was revised in May to
require such plans from troops and expeditionary civilians who have legal custody or joint
custody of a minor child. The new policy requires these parents to attempt to obtain the consent
of the noncustodial or adoptive parent to any family care plan that would leave the child in the
custody of a third party. See http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=61319
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From the Family Matters Blog – Looking Back, Moving Forward
More than 20 years ago, the first federal funds were authorized for the establishment,
maintenance and expansion of programs and projects to prevent incidents of family violence and
provide shelter and assistance for victims and their children. See
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fysb/content/docs/FVPSA_program_summary.pdf. Over the
past two decades, the momentum of the domestic violence movement has continued to build.
From TRICARE Communications – Oral Tips for Halloween and Year-round
Trick or Treat! It’s that time of year again, when kids look forward to Halloween sweets and
parents worry about the damage sugar does to their kids’ teeth. TRICARE officials remind
beneficiaries that brushing and flossing after eating sugary treats is the best way to keep cavities
away and maintain their child's oral health, Halloween and year-round.
Tips of the Week
Nutrition Tip of the Week – What’s a serving from the milk group?
One cup (8- ounces) fluid milk or yogurt, 1½ ounce natural cheese, or 2 ounces processed cheese
can be considered as a 1-cup serving from the milk group.
For more information on making healthy and nutritious food choices, check out the
Commissary’s Web site at http://www.commissaries.com/ .
Parenting Tip of the Week – Write a letter –stay connected
The next time you spend quality time with your child, consider writing a friendly letter to a
friend, deployed parent or other relative, or neighbor with him/her. Be sure to include the date,
salutation, and closing with the body of the letter. You can practice writing friendly letters with
your child by sending servicemembers a general message via the DoD Community Relations
website at http://www.ourmilitary.mil/Message.aspx?SectionID=5 .
Let’s Move/Childhood Obesity Tip of the Week – Help Kids Stay Active
Children and teens should participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical
activity most days of the week, preferably daily. Remember that children imitate adults. Start
adding physical activity to your own daily routine and encourage your child to join you. Some
examples of moderate intensity physical activity include:
Financial Tip of the Week – Five Sneaky Ways to Save $100 a Month
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If your savings rate is not up to snuff and you're finding it hard to pinch those pennies for a rainy
day, try some of these sneaky switches to trick yourself into saving more than the national
Fire your bank? Add up all your banking fees: ATM fees, monthly account fees, overdraft
protection fees, minimum balance fees, debit card transaction fees, and the myriad of other
miscellaneous fees to see how much your bank is costing you. If you're paying a pretty penny
for the privilege of using your own money, then maybe it's time to give your banker the pink slip
and switch banks.
Make your kids pay for it! If your kids keep asking for stuff they don't need, then maybe it's time
to get sneaky by closing the bank of mom and dad and making your kids spend their own
allowance. Teaching kids the value of earning a dollar can help them grow into financially savvy
teens, and not giving in to every childhood whim could save you hundreds each month.
Lower your mutual fund fees. If you put your retirement savings into mutual funds, chances are
those sneaky investing fees -- management expense ratios (MERs), loads, and trailer fees -- are
all drastically decreasing your investment returns each year, without you even noticing! Cutting
your investment costs by over 1 percent could save you thousands per year, depending on the
size of your portfolio.
Pay your mortgage biweekly, not monthly. By opting for biweekly payments, you will pay a bit
more each month and there will be a few months where three mortgage payments are due,
depending on how the weeks fall, but if you are on biweekly paychecks, you won’t notice the
difference. For example, when compared with monthly payments, switching to an accelerated
biweekly payment plan can save you around $30,100 in interest and end your mortgage almost
four years sooner, assuming a $200,000 loan at a 5.6 percent interest rate with a 25-year term.
That's an average of $100 saved each month!
Plug in your slow cooker. Just throw a few tasty ingredients into a slow cooker the night before,
and plug in the pot before heading out the door. Not only are slow cookers easy to use and frugal
to buy, but they can also cut your grocery bill significantly by allowing you to purchase cheaper
cuts of meat and tenderizing them over low heat for a longer time.