This week in mcfp march 11, 2011 (1)


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This week in mcfp march 11, 2011 (1)

  1. 1.‐06‐24/Family_Resiliency_Webinar.aspx.    This Week in MC&FP March 11, 2011 ___________________________________________________________                Our morning began early with word of the massive earthquake in Japan and thetowering tsunami waves in the Pacific. The Defense Department quickly geared up to help. Thisafternoon, Secretary of Defense Gates said, “I’ve been kept informed all day long about the tsunami inJapan, the earthquake and tsunami. As best we can tell, all of our people are OK, our ships and militaryfacilities are all in pretty good shape. We obviously have huge sympathy for the people of Japan andwe are prepared to help them in any way we possibly can. It’s obviously a very sophisticated country,but this is a huge disaster and we will do all, anything we are asked to do to help out.”To stay informed and follow the military response to this historic national disaster, see . The site contains emergency links, keyinformation, maps, and related stories.Have a good week and take care.Your MC&FP TeamPlease note: Some hyperlinks in this text are lengthy, sometimes extending more than one line. Forbest results, cut and paste the entire link into your Web browser.  From DoDEA• DoDEA Celebrates National Womens History Month – “Our History is Our Strength” This years theme pays tribute to the millions of women who have helped create a better world for the times in which they lived, as well as, for future generations. You can read about the origins of National Womens History Month on our DoDEA Celebrates Web page at:• White House Invites Experts, Communities to Conference on Bullying Prevention DoDEA’s Acting Director Marilee Fitzgerald participated in the March 10, White House Conference on Bullying Prevention. President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, the Department of Education, and the Department of Health and Human Services welcomed students, parents, and teachers to the White House event. The conference brought together communities from across the nation that have been affected by bullying, as well as those who are taking action to address it. Participants spoke about the effects of bullying and the work of students, parents, and teachers nationwide. See 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   March 11, 2011 • Terra Nova Testing Under Way for Students Worldwide While this does take some hours away from daily curriculum and activities, testing also provides DoDEA with extremely valuable information, used at the school and district levels to improve teacher instruction and increase student learning and achievement. Department of Defense Education Activity students made gains in all subject areas assessed in the 2010. The 2010 test results show that DoDEA students in grades three through 11 scored substantially higher than the national average (the 50th percentile) in all subject areas: Reading, Language, Math, Science, and Social Studies. On 43 of 45 subtests, DoDEA students scored 10-25 percentile points above the national average. In addition, students scored 7 and 9 percentile points, respectively, above the national average on the remaining two of the 45 subtests.• March is ‘Music In Our Schools Month’ Music in Our Schools Month helps to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children – and to remind citizens that school is where all children should have access to music. The special observance provides music teachers the opportunity to bring their music programs to the attention of the school and the community and to display the benefits school music brings to students of all ages. DoDEA joins schools and communities across the globe with concerts and other activities based on the years theme, “Music Lasts a Lifetime.” For more information, see• Aviano Elementary School ‘Clubhouse’ Provides Safe Haven for Students with Deployed Parents A large number of Aviano Elementary School students currently have or soon will have a parent deployed for a significant amount of time. In response, school staff developed a ‘safe haven’ to help them to learn to cope with all the stages of deployment and continue to be active learners while their parent is gone. Once a week, students meet during lunch in the ‘Members-Only Clubhouse,’ manned by school counselors and the school psychologist. Students may join as soon as they learn their parent will be deployed and may stay in the club after the parent has returned. Attendance is voluntary and gives students an opportunity to discuss feelings and reactions with other students experiencing similar situations. Clubhouse activities include sending e-mails or writing letters to the deployed parent; making coupon books to give to the parent at home – good for helping around the house; arts and crafts such as putting their photos on a pillow case to send to their deployed parent and making seasonal decorations; developing a calendar of activities; and talking about how to ‘normalize’ deployment in their family. Activities are based on the grade level of the student. See and click on ‘Deployment Club.’From the Family Advocacy Program Office• HHS Live Webcast to address "Infant Suffocation Deaths in the Sleep Environment" Suffocation is the leading cause of injury deaths to infants in the U.S., occurring at a rate four times greater than any other injury cause. In an effort to prevent this tragedy, Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration is sponsoring a free, live Webcast on Thursday, March 24, 2 to 3:30 (EST). Online advanced registration is required in order to facilitate technical trouble shooting. To register, go to Participants should then plan to be online approximately 10 minutes prior to the start of the session.Page 2 
  3. 3. This Week in MC&FP   March 11, 2011  Webcast highlights will include: - The scope of infant deaths from suffocation and the pilot study for the national Sudden, Unexplained Infant Death Initiative – ‘SUID’ – an effort to help us better understand the circumstances and events in suffocation deaths. - The circumstances of the sleep environment for infant suffocation deaths as described by data from child death review teams. - Risk factors in infant suffocation deaths identified through child death review and the SUID Case Registry. - The scope of state efforts in risk reduction and prevention efforts and one state’s work to link injury prevention and MCH with state and local partners for a comprehensive infant safe sleep initiative. - Examples of community-based safe sleep and suffocation prevention programs, including hospital based education, safe sleep education and crib distribution programs. - Examples of efforts in states and local communities to develop comprehensive SUID risk reduction and accidental suffocation prevention programs.From the Office of Family Policy/Children and Youth• “Forging the Partnership” – Registration now open! Have you marked your calendars and plan to join us at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, April 27- 29? Registration is open – be part of this unique experience! See 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. Plans are under way for two town hall meetings – one with the Services’ senior enlisted advisors and the second with religious ministry. See you in Chicago!From the Office of Community Support for Military Families with Special Needs• Isabel Hodge Participates in HHS Disability Conference Isabel Hodge was selected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities to attend the “Building a National Agenda for Family Support” event at the Johnson Foundation at Wingspread in Racine, Wisconsin, March 6-8, 2011. Hodge and a group of 27 national family support stakeholders worked to develop and reach consensus on: - Policy recommendations for the reauthorization of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 that will achieve outcomes of effective family supportPage 3 
  4. 4. This Week in MC&FP   March 11, 2011  - Recommendations to improve family support policy, practice and systems at the state level - An advocacy action plan for moving national family support forward, including recommendations for other federal legislation, in order to achieve the outcomes of effective family support. From the Office of Communication • Youth Employment Skills Program – Build your résumé and earn money for college! The Youth Employment Skills program –YES – is a unique volunteer program for high school students of active duty/Title 10 Air Force members. Students can earn a potential $1,000 grant by working at an on-base location, and gain valuable employment skills while serving their local community. Students can claim their ‘banked’ grant funding upon high school graduation to be applied directly toward post-secondary educational expenses. Please contact the youth director at your base Youth/Teen Center to learn more about the YES program and enrollment procedures. This program, underwritten by the Air Force Aid Society, is a joint effort with the Airman and Family Services Flight.From Resale• 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 In the next few weeks, DeCA will deliver the benefit: April 1-2 Texas Army National Guard Austin, Texas April 1-3 Guard and Reserve Smyrna, Tenn. April 2-3 Guard and Reserve Rome, N.Y. April 8-9 Air National Guard Fresno, Calif.In the News• From the American Forces Press Service – Military Gears up to Help Japan U.S. forces are swinging into action to assist Japan in the wake of a magnitude 8.9 earthquake that struck early this morning. “We are assessing the situation and positioning forces so that they are ready to respond and provide disaster relief if directed,” said Navy Cmdr. Leslie Hull-Ryde, a Pentagon spokeswoman. Japan has requested U.S. assistance through the State Department. See• From the American Forces Press Service – Yakota Community Assists Diverted Passengers Airmen and volunteers are helping more than 500 commercial airline passengers whose flights were diverted here after a magnitude 8.9 earthquake struck today off the Japanese coast. SeveralPage 4 
  5. 5. This Week in MC&FP   March 11, 2011  commercial aircraft were diverted here after Narita International Airport in Tokyo closed. See• From the DoD Live Blog – Moving? Let Us Help With ‘Plan My Move’ Moving again? Even when a move is months away, it’s natural to get a little stressed when imagining everything at home getting packed into a box and shipped off to parts unknown. There is so much to do and so much to plan. That’s why we offer Plan My Move. See• From the American Forces Press Service – Dr. Biden Pledges Support for Guard Families Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, promised National Guard members and their families here that she will support them during every deployment As family members, we honor and support our [Guard members], but we also know that we will miss them each and every day they’re away from us,” she said during a March 4 call-to-duty ceremony at the Delaware Air National Guard’s 166th Airlift Wing. Biden announced Feb. 28 that she and First Lady Michelle Obama will launch a campaign this month that’s designed to rally citizens, businesses and nonprofit organizations to provide support for servicemembers and their families. See• From the American Forces Press Service – Arlington Burial Planned for Last ‘Doughboy’ America will pay its respects to its last World War I veteran March 15, as former Army Cpl. Frank Buckles is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Buckles – the last of the more than five million Americans who served during World War I and were known as ‘doughboys’ – died Feb. 22 at his home in West Virginia. He was 110. See of the Week• Nutrition Tip of the Week – March is National Nutrition Month! What are you going to do this month to improve your nutritional health? Try to lose weight? Increase your fruit and vegetable consumption each day? Eat less red meat? Drink more water? How about putting down the salt shaker and sprinkling some herbs and spices on your food? - Add a teaspoon of cinnamon to your oatmeal, toast with peanut butter, fruit cup or yogurt and granola. - Sprinkle some ground ginger into a shrimp and vegetable stir-fry. - Chop a tablespoon of thyme and rosemary into your omelet. - Make your own hummus, experimenting with different amounts of cumin, coriander, red pepper and paprika. (Always experiment with smaller amounts such as ¼ teaspoon.) - Try yellow curry in your whole grain rice. - Sprinkle meats with thyme, rosemary or oregano. For more information on making healthy and nutritious food choices, check out the Defense Commissary Agency’s Web site at .Page 5 
  6. 6. This Week in MC&FP   March 11, 2011 • Parenting Tip of the Week – Are you a new parent? More than 2,000 babies are born to military families each week. If you are or will be a new parent, the New Parent Support Program was developed for you! Program benefits are available free of charge to families expecting a child, or have a child or children up to three years of age. The program also includes home visits by the New Parent Support Program staff, and may also include supervised playgroups, parenting classes, and access to materials on parenting. You can find more details at• Let’s Move/Childhood Obesity Tip of the Week Like adults, kids need exercise. Most children need at least an hour of physical activity every day. Regular exercise helps children: - Feel less stressed - Feel better about themselves - Feel more ready to learn in school - Keep a healthy weight - Build and keep healthy bones, muscles and joints - Sleep better at night As kids spend more time watching television, they spend less time running and playing. Parents should limit TV, video game and computer time. Parents can set a good example by being active themselves. Exercising together can be fun for everyone. Competitive sports can help kids stay fit. Walking or biking to school, dancing, bowling and yoga are some other ways for kids to get exercise. For more information see:• Financial Tip of the Week – Smart Ways to improve your Budget Decide on your priorities. After you budget for food, housing, and transportation expenses, which probably account for about half to two-thirds of your take-home pay, factor in any debt payments, and decide how to prioritize savings, household expenses, professional expenses, and entertainment. Consider the year, not just the month. Budgeting for the year is better largely because we feel less confident in our monthly estimates, so add more of a buffer for unexpected expenses. If you need assistance with developing a budget or other personal finance issues, visit your installation Personal Finance Manager or call Military OneSource, 1-800-342-9647 or go to Take the spending diary challenge. Write down every single thing you spend money on for two weeks, along with notes on why and how it made you feel. You might be surprised to discover the real leaks in your budget. After the two weeks is up, review the list and see what jumps out at you. Avoid temptation. Why torture ourselves by allowing catalogues full of shiny, new kitchen gadgets or tempting electronics to come through the mails every day? Cancel them. Time yourself. Once you decide you need to buy a specific item - a new computer, for example, give yourself a specific time limit to make the purchase, such as a half-hour. “You don’t want toPage 6 
  7. 7. This Week in MC&FP   March 11, 2011  lose precious time sifting through options when your instinctive reaction will probably end up being the best decision.” Consider your high and low points. A quick review of where you went wrong and right over the past few months will help pinpoint your weaknesses. Did you buy overly expensive gifts? Don’t just beat yourself up; consider the good decisions you made, too, whether it was comparing prices before buying a new television or cooking more homemade meals. Set money aside for leisure. Don’t forget to reserve some cash for such happiness-inducing pleasures. Research shows that people get the most pleasure out of spending on leisure activities because these things usually involve spending time with other people. Reward yourself. Denying ourselves every material pleasure turns money into a sad subject, instead of an empowering one. After all, you work hard for your money, so it should bring you some pleasure. Share your budgeting goals with others. Whether you want to stop wasting money on unnecessary shopping trips or pay off your credit card debt, share those goals with family and friends.• Military OneSource Tip of the Week – Quick Tips for Planning a PCS Move When you receive PCS orders, you’re bound to be excited about the upcoming change and the chance to meet new people and see new places. But youre also likely to feel stressed about the logistics of the move and about helping family members – especially children and teenagers – with the transition. Fortunately, there are steps you can take and resources available to help you stay organized: - Visit your installation’s Relocation Office. The Relocation Office staff will help you get started organizing your move. You can request a “Welcome Aboard” package, which has information on your new installation and the local community. The Relocation Office staff can also put you in touch with a sponsor -- available at most OCONUS installations and some CONUS installations. Find the Relocation Office at your Family Support Center or visit http:/// for a locator. - Visit the online Relocation Resource page at the Military OneSource Web site. Go to On the homepage, click on “Find Information,” then on “Military Life,” then on “Moving.” You’ll find articles and links to programs that will help you plan your move. - Create a command center. This is a central location for all the details – including to-do lists – that relate to your move. You can also keep your important documents (orders, medical records, Powers of Attorney, wills, birth certificates, passports, and statements for financial accounts) here. A large accordion-pleated binder works well for this. - Prioritize. Instead of trying to do it all at once, make an "A" list, a "B" list, and a "C" list, depending on what needs to be done first. This can help you focus on whats most important. - Once you have orders in hand, contact your installation’s Transportation Management Office to set up your move. You may be instructed to create an online account at to manage the shipment and storage of your household goods and personal property.Page 7 
  8. 8. This Week in MC&FP   March 11, 2011  - Contact the housing office at your destination installation. The housing office can give you information on installation housing wait lists and help you explore other options for temporary and permanent housing. - Make reservations for temporary lodging. You may need lodging at your current installation before you travel or at your new installation while you find a permanent place to live. Your Relocation Office can help you get started with contact information for Temporary Lodging Facilities. - Create an account using ‘Plan My Move.’ This tool allows you to create a customized plan and calendar to help you make a smooth transition. Find it on the MilitaryHOMEFRONT site at - Find out about your new community. You may find a Web site for your new town or help your kids find their new school online. Many installations have Web sites with links to sites in the local community. Use the Military OneSource Relocation Tool for statistics about your new community, including school information, crime reports, cost of living, and more. - Help your children with the transition. No matter what their ages, a PCS move can be difficult for your children. Make sure they know it’s okay to feel anxious about the move. Try to keep your routines intact as much as possible. Some installations offer relocation workshops specifically for children and teens. Use the online resources at Military Youth on the Move; see - If you have family members with special needs, contact the EFMP coordinator at your new installation. The Exceptional Family Member Program coordinator can put you in touch with local services, both on and off the installation. You’ll also want to get travel prescriptions filled and make sure you have plenty of medical supplies for your trip. Keep important documents, such as your child’s IEP and medical records in a safe place during the move and be sure to hand-carry them when you travel.• Spouse Tip – Looking for a Federal Job that Allows You to Telework? Here’s the Latest Update! In December 2010, President Obama signed the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 into law. The purpose of the law is to step up efforts government-wide to ensure continuity of operations – especially during emergencies – reduce management costs, and help federal employees balance their work and life commitments. The Office of Personnel Management is taking the lead to jump-start this initiative. Throughout the Department of Defense, command leaders and managers are busy establishing telecommuting rules and regulations that will ensure their employees can meet their missions regardless of work locations. For example, telework agreements are being signed by employees and their managers that certify workers as ‘telework ready’ or ‘telework capable.’ Although the http// Web site is the repository for many federal job vacancy announcements, this portal does not list jobs according to which ones allow or require telework. Job seekers still need to select jobs of interest and read associated vacancy announcements to find out if telecommuting is permitted. It’s certainly worth the time and effort as a growing number of federal agencies are coming onboard with plans to expand the number of employees allowed or encouraged to telecommute.   #### Page 8