This week in mcfp march 18, 2011 (2)


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This week in mcfp march 18, 2011 (2)

  1. 1. This Week in MC&FP March 18, 2011 ___________________________________________________________ March is National Social Work Month. The month-long commemoration is intended topromote the role of the social worker as a positive change agent. As we watch world events unfold, theneed for skilled professionals is readily apparent. We will rely on these experts to help peopletransform their lives, improve environments, and make positive personal growth possible in extremelydifficult circumstances for many days to come. We celebrate the contributions social workers make tothe readiness and resilience of our military community. We express gratitude for the important workthey do every day and heartily agree with this year’s theme – “social workers change futures.”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 Lakenheath, Aviano Student Attend the Senate’s Senate Youth program Last week, two DoDEA students participated in the annual United States Senate Youth Program in Washington, D.C. The program gives students with an interest in public service the chance to experience an up-close look at the nation’s government. Representing DoDEA this year were Ryan McDonnell, a senior from Lakenheath High School in Lakenheath, England, and Robert Dewitt, a junior from Aviano High and Middle School in Aviano, Italy. Both students were in the nation’s capitol last week to attend the Senate Youth Program’s annual Washington Week. They met with other students from around the nation, senators and cabinet members, and officials from the departments of State and Defense. Congratulations Ryan and Robert! DoDEA Staff, Parents, Students Respond to Earthquake, Tsunami - All DoDEA personnel – 100 percent – in the Pacific area, including mainland Japan, have been accounted for and are safe. - Student activities across Japan have been cancelled through the end of March. A number of Far East events were also cancelled, including the Junior Science and Humanities Symposia, JROTC Drill, and Linguafest. Spring Fling and other athletic tournaments occurring in the next few weeks in Okinawa and Japan have also been cancelled. More cancellations may be necessary to conserve fuel, ensure adequate transportation availability for emergency responders, and ensure safety during this very challenging recovery period. 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 18, 2011 - The DoDEA-Pacific leaders and employees have risen to the challenge presented by the horrific tragedies of the last week in Japan. They have come together to find solutions to help the Japan District throughout this unimaginable crisis. Many teachers and government employees have gone above and beyond the call of duty to volunteer their time and contribute in any manner possible. In its sports coverage of last weekend, Stars and Stripes selected three MVPs of the weekend: Clayton Fujie, DoDDS Japan’s district superintendent; transportation officer Milt Colon, and 374th Airlift Wing command Chief Master Sgt. Ben Caro for their tireless work in getting every Robert D. Edgren High School student athlete stranded by the quake back home to Misawa via Air Mobility Command flights. With highways and railways northeast knocked out of commission, air travel was the only way home. For more information, see observed-in-pacific-spring-sports-season-week-2-0-1.137932 - Social media has proved invaluable throughout the tragedy in Japan by helping DoDEA personnel to stay informed and in touch with loved ones. All DoDEA Pacific schools now have access to Facebook and Twitter. Communications efforts are focused on providing information in many ways (internal e-mails, AFN, Stars & Stripes, social media, official Web sites, etc.). Employees and others are encouraged to follow DoDEA’ Facebook page for the latest updates at or www.facebook/ the Family Advocacy Program Office Reminder: 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. 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.Page 2
  3. 3. This Week in MC&FP March 18, 2011 - 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 General Motors Foundation Offers Youth Scholarship Opportunity – March 30 Deadline Nears High school seniors or graduates who will be first-time college students in the fall of 2011 are eligible to apply for the Buick Achievers Scholarship Program. Scholarships range from $2,000 to $24,000 each year for up to five years of study. A majority of the scholarships will be awarded to students majoring in science, technology, engineering or math, with a heavy emphasis on engineering majors. Special consideration will be given to dependents of military personnel. Please access http// for more detailed information and to apply. The application deadline is Wednesday, March 30, 2011. This opportunity is one of many made available through the youth programs partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Applications for Military Extension Internships Due March 31st The Military Extension Internship Program is an opportunity for college students to gain practical work experience in child development, school-age, and youth programs. Interns work on military installations around the world for 10 weeks to six months and receive a broad range of experiences, from working with children and youth and implementing programs, to learning about the management of child and youth centers. Applications for Fall 2011 internships are due Thursday, March 31, 2011. For more information and to see the Military Extension Internship programs in action, go to“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 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 atPage 3
  4. 4. This Week in MC&FP March 18, 2011 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 – Caring for People Aids Readiness, Official Says The Defense Department is committed to maintaining total force readiness even under tightening budgets and amid plans to transition out of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon’s top personnel official assured a congressional subcommittee today. The department is committed to carrying out Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’ directive to prepare the force to manage risks by being agile, well-trained, and able to work within integrated personnel processes, Clifford L. Stanley, undersecretary for personnel and readiness, told the House Armed Services Committee’s personnel subcommittee. See From DOD Live blog – Supporting Our Military Families in Japan “I write to you today about the rapidly changing situation in Japan. From the Pentagon, the Military Community & Family Policy team and I are staying keenly aware of the fluid conditions there. From our schools and child care centers to our commissaries and exchanges, our focus is the well-being of military families. We are taking proactive, deliberate action to stay well ahead of the dynamic and uncertain conditions in Japan, keeping your safety as our primary concern.” See From the American Forces Press Service – Japan-based Military Families Remain Top Concern Officials are taking “proactive, deliberate” steps to stay ahead of the changing conditions in Japan, while keeping the safety of military families there always in mind, said a DoD official. See From the American Forces Press Service – Red Cross Website Links Japan-based Troops to Home In the wake of Japans massive earthquake and tsunami, Red Cross officials are encouraging U.S. service members and families posted there to register with an online resource intended to keepPage 4
  5. 5. This Week in MC&FP March 18, 2011 family and friends back home informed of their welfare. Military members and their families overseas can relay their status and pass on messages to loved ones through the American Red Cross-sponsored "Safe and Well" Web site at See From the American Forces Press Service – Japan-based Troops, Families Use Social Media Sites Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Joy Josephson was in her office on Misawa Air Base, Japan, on March 11 reviewing paperwork with a maintenance technician when the computers started shaking. Josephson, the detachment superintendent for American Forces Network Misawa, figured it was a mild tremor, not uncommon to that area in Japan, but then the shaking “got violent.” “We get earthquakes up here and tremors, … but this one wasn’t stopping,” she said. See From the DoD Live blog – Caring for Our Service Members, Families and Civilians Decades ago, as I raised my right hand the first time to swear my allegiance to defend all we hold dear, I knew my life would forever change and I can’t tell you how honored I am today to have the privilege of serving in another capacity. As I begin my weekly conversations with you, I wanted to begin by telling you what I am responsible for and why I want to share in this two-way conversation. See of the Week Nutrition Tip of the Week – What’s for dinner? Do you find yourself struggling to decide what to have for dinner 30 minutes before it needs to be on the table? To help make life a little easier when it comes to eating, try using a meal planner. A weekly calendar with a shopping list attached to it will work. To help make that shopping list a little easier to fill in, keep a list of foods you use almost every day beside the planner on your refrigerator. - Pick a day to fill out your weekly menu and involve the family. Allow your children to help plan the menu; have each child plan a dinner along with adding necessary items to the shopping list. - Using tools can help your menu planning go smoothly, along with helping save money and time. Tools include: Find out what is on sale for the week on, and use the coupon sites there. Gather your coupons and keep them in the car for the shopping trip. - Decide who is going to prepare different foods for different dinners. With a little help, very young children can wash vegetables, set the table, and pour, measure and stir ingredients. Older children can prepare simple foods and help guide younger children, too. For more information on making healthy and nutritious food choices, check out the Commissary’s website at Parenting Tip of the Week – Bullying is Preventable In case you missed it, President Obama and the First Lady hosted the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention on March 10. The conference is available on line at 5
  6. 6. This Week in MC&FP March 18, 2011 bullying-prevention. President Obama shared his own experiences growing up; with his big ears and his name, he wasn’t immune to bullying, he said. Today, almost three million students have said that they have been pushed, shoved, tripped, even spit on. Bullying has also expanded to text messages and the web. As a parent, there are several resources available to you. is an excellent resource for parents and children; Military Youth on the Move,, has a section for parents that addresses how to help your child respond to bullying and other situations. Remember that bullying is not a normal rite of passage. Let’s Move/Childhood Obesity Tip of the Week – Calcium helps build strong bones and teeth Calcium helps build strong bones and teeth. Milk and milk products are great sources of calcium. If your child cannot digest milk or if you choose not to serve milk products, there are other ways to make sure he or she gets enough calcium. - Serve calcium-rich vegetables like broccoli, mustard greens, kale, collard greens, and brussels sprouts. - Include high-calcium beans like great northern beans, black turtle beans, navy beans, and baked beans in casseroles and salads. - Try calcium-enriched soy- and rice-based drinks. Serve chilled, use in place of cow’s milk in your favorite recipes, or add to hot or cold cereals. - Serve lactose-reduced or lactose-free dairy products like low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, and ice cream. (Lactose is the sugar in milk and foods made with milk. People who cannot digest lactose often have stomach pain and bloating when they drink milk.) - Try low-fat yogurt or cheese in small amounts—they may be easier to digest than milk.For more information see: Financial Tip of the Week – How to curb credit card spending While it’s good to keep one credit card in case of emergencies, refraining from regularly using credit will help prevent you from racking up debt while staying within your means. Living without credit isn’t about sacrifice--its about prioritizing. Here are some tips to make prioritizing purchases even easier than pulling out that charge card. Wait to Make Purchases. Whenever you get an urge to buy something, write it down on your wish list and walk out of the store. Eliminating “impulse purchases” will immediately decrease your spending, and waiting a month before you buy non-essential items means that they are much more likely to be on sale or reduced in price. When you revisit your wish list later, you’ll be surprised how many things that made you say “I have to have it” in the store will make you go “eh” later on. Track Your Spending. By writing down how much you’ve spent (and on what) each day, you’ll make sure you’re saving your money for items you really want, rather than ones you buy out of habit. You may find that you need to make some sacrifices like cable TV and dinners out. Set Goals. What are your financial goals? By tracking your spending and decreasing credit card usage, now have a better chance than ever before of achieving your short-, mid-, and long-term goals. Short-term goals - one month to one year like paying off a credit card. Mid-term goals - one to five years may include paying off a car loan. Long-term goals - five or more years, like buying aPage 6
  7. 7. This Week in MC&FP March 18, 2011 house, putting your child through college, or saving for retirement. Once you’ve written down your goals in each of these categories, go back to your spending tracker and examine how your daily spending habits impact your goals. Make changes where necessary, and make sure to track your progress to keep yourself motivated. When buying big-ticket items with money you’ve saved rather than with credit, you’ll have little anxiety about spending because you’ll know you’re spending on something you’ve taken the time to think about and that you can afford. You’ll find that having money saved when you need it is a lot more satisfying than the false purchasing power of a credit card. Military OneSource Tip of the Week – Quick Tips to Help Your Children Cope with Moving Relocation is a fact of life for most military families. On average, children who live with a service member move every two to three years. Packing up and leaving a new town can be difficult at any age. Saying goodbye to friends, being the new kid at school, and worrying about fitting in are just a few of the challenges ahead. These tips will help you make the transition easier for your children: - Tell your children as soon as possible. You may be tempted to delay breaking the news, but your children may feel betrayed if you wait too long to let them know. As difficult as it is to face a move, knowing about it far in advance will give your children time to prepare emotionally. Even if younger children don’t know what it means, they will have an easier time if you present the information ahead of time in age-appropriate terms. - Talk it over. Sit down with your family to discuss the move. Encourage everyone to express their feelings, even negative ones, but point out the positive aspects of the move. Be sure to acknowledge your children’s feelings of anxiety or sadness. - Stick to your regular routines. Routines provide a sense of comfort and stability, so try to maintain them even when it becomes difficult. - Involve your older children in some of the planning. Your children will feel part of the process if you let them help plan the move. Show your children a layout of your new home and ask for suggestions about where to put the furniture. They can help you research the new area by learning about their new school online or finding fun things to do in your new area. - Familiarize yourself and your children with their new school. Before you PCS, visit the new school’s website to learn more about the school and the teachers. The new Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children ( makes it easier for military children to transfer to a new school. - Keep a positive attitude. Young children often worry about the unknown. Let your children know that you are excited about the opportunities at your new duty station. Try to keep negative talk to a minimum and focus on the positive changes. - Help your children say goodbye. Give them an address book to keep track of friends’ contact information. Staying in touch with old friends may not be as good as living next door, but using social networks like Facebook and texting or phoning old friends will raise your children’s morale while they’re making new friends. Before you leave, let them take pictures of their friends and favorite places to put together in a scrapbook. - If possible, visit your new installation and school. Your children will feel more confident if they can picture where they’ll be living and going to school after the move.Page 7
  8. 8. This Week in MC&FP March 18, 2011 - Find out if the Family Center has newcomer’s tours for families. This is a wonderful opportunity for the entire family to learn about their new community with the help of a tour guide. - Realize that you’re all going through a big change. When a family relocates, everyone goes through a time of transition – so unpack your patience and sense of humor. Try to listen well, show respect, and give encouragement to your children. As a parent, you are in a position to offer the important elements of loving support and consistency amid the many exciting – and stressful – changes your child is facing. 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 Spouse Tip -- Unprecedented Support for Military Spouses On January 24, 2011, President Obama and 16 Cabinet Secretaries and Agency Administrators signed Presidential Study Directive-9 (PSD-9) entitled: “Strengthening Our Military Families.” This directive brings together the whole of government to partner with DoD to support military families not only today, but for the long-term. Additionally, it recognizes military spouses as part of an adaptable, resilient, educated, and dedicated work force, “deserving of special support and assistance in pursuit of portable careers and employment.” Priority #3 outlines five specific career and employment needs of spouses and what Federal Departments and Agencies are committed to doing to support military spouses and families. - Increase Federal Career opportunities – (1) Help spouses understand the special hiring authorities that are available to them and improve hiring trends by federal employers; (2) Use the “Family Member Appointment” authority to hire spouses at State Department Consulates and Embassies overseas; and (3) Modify the Transition Assistance Workshop for servicemembers to include outreach to spouses. - Increase Private Sector employment opportunities – (1) Expand the Army’s Spouse Employment Program to include Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force spouses; (2) Educate corporate America regarding the benefits of hiring military spouses; and (3) Promote the ability of the public workforce to provide priority of service to eligible spouses and veterans. - Increase access to Educational Advancement – (1) Provide free career and education counseling for all military spouses; (2) Provide financial assistance for eligible spouses in junior pay grades who are pursuing portable careers, licenses, credentials and Associate’s degrees; (3) Simplify the Post 9/11 GI Bill education funding application process and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid . - Reduce Barriers to Employment and Support Services due to differences in state policies and standards – (1) Engage state government officials to remove barriers to seeking professional licenses and credentials needed to work in fields such as teaching and nursing; and (2) Educate state policy makers, not-for-profit associations, businesses and others regarding the unique needs of military families who are subject to frequent relocations. - Protect Service and Family Member Rights – (1) Enforce federal laws that protect the civil rights of servicemembers (especially during and following deployments); and (2) Enforcement of the Family and Medical Leave Act.Page 8
  9. 9. This Week in MC&FP March 18, 2011 PSD-9 has more than 50 initiatives that support military spouses and families. To learn more, visit: ####Page 9