This week in mcfp march 4, 2011 (2)


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This week in mcfp march 4, 2011 (2)

  1. 1.‐06‐24/Family_Resiliency_Webinar.aspx.    This Week in MC&FP March 4, 2011 ___________________________________________________________        Today is another national birthday of sorts. In 1789 on March 4th, the first Congress metin New York. A quorum wasn’t obtained in the House until April 1st and in the Senate April 5th, soformal organization took a while. With the quorum in place, the electoral votes were counted and onApril 6th, George Washington was declared president and John Adams vice president.Have you noticed that the days are getting longer? Before you learn to love the early morning sunshine,we want to remind you that Daylight Savings Time begins next week on Sunday, March 13th. For yourown safety, think about getting ready now. Experts recommend adjusting your sleep schedule in half-hour increments the two days before daylight savings time begins. Lack of sleep – in already sleep-deprived people – can lead to decreased performance at work or in school, memory and cognitiveimpairment and a general decrease in the quality of life. It also increases the risk of occupational andautomobile injuries. On average, there were 3.6 more injuries on the Mondays following the switch todaylight saving time compared to other days, and 2,649 more days of work were lost as a result of thoseinjuries. An ounce of prevention could be many pounds of cure!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 the Hill• Congressional Hearing – Preventing Abuse of the Militarys Tuition Assistance Program On March 2, 2011, Robert L. Gordon, our Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Kathy Snead of the Servicemembers Opportunity College, and George Scott from the Government Accountability Office, testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committees Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security. The subcommittee asked DoD to address the management system of the tuition assistance program and the steps taken to prevent predatory schools from taking advantage of the taxpayer-funded tuition assistance benefits. In addition, they questioned the witnesses about the findings identified in the recently released GAO report. Congressional member statements, testimony, a transcript of the hearing, and a Webcast are available on line. See 2466-4134-9440-bade4daf5df2 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 4, 2011 From DoDEA• Germany’s Wiesbaden, Vilseck High School Students to Compete in Robotics Contest A team of 22 students from Wiesbaden High School and Vilseck High School in Germany will participate in this years FIRST Robotics Contest. ‘FIRST,’ or ‘For Inspiration of Research Science and Technology,’ is a nationwide event attracting thousands of high school students in a head-to-head engineering competition. The DoDEA team will spend thousands of hours community service, fundraising, designing, building, and programming their sophisticated 130 pound robot during the six-week build season. Theyll be ready for our regional competition in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 29th and April 1st. For more information, visit:• DoDEA Joins Nation in Celebration of ‘Read Across America’ Day Wednesday, March 2nd, was the 14th annual Read Across America Day, sponsored by the National Education Association, when millions of readers – both young and old – will be in the company of a good book. Since 1997, Read Across America has celebrated reading and the ongoing daily efforts to build a nation of readers. Read Across America falls on the birthday of beloved childrens author, Theodore S. Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. The celebration endeavors to bring caring adults to schools to read with children. Every year, parents, teachers, school employees, students and community members participate in the nations largest reading celebration by engaging in a wide range of local activities that help excite and encourage children of all ages to pick up a book and read on March 2nd and throughout the year. Many DoDEA schools and military communities in many locations around the globe joined the celebration. Ms. Merilee Fitzgerald, DoDEA’s acting director, read selected Dr. Seuss stories to students in 1st, 2nd and 5th grade classes at DoDEA schools at Marine Corps Base-Quantico, Virginia.• DoDEA’s Online Summer Workshop Application Now Available DoDEA announced recently its summer training for teachers through the on-line Summer Workshop Application process. Continuous professional growth opportunities are critical for enhancing the repertoire of strategies, skills and competencies of educators. DoDEA values the professional educator as most important in achieving exemplary learning opportunities for our students. Professional development days have been provided to the districts and areas to support district and school specific training needs throughout the year and during the summer months. District and area offices are primary resources for delivering professional development services to the schools. DoDEA Headquarters continues to provide training for specific needs. For more information, see the Office of Morale, Welfare and Recreation• MWR – the Place for Spouse and Family Fitness Looking for a fitness program geared to spouses? Look no further than your MWR department. Tons of programs are in place to help spouses get in shape, stay in shape, and meet new people while getting a workout in. Each installation has programs that vary in concept and design, so there is something for everyone. Here’s a snapshot of some of the more popular programs you may find on your installation:Page 2 
  3. 3. This Week in MC&FP   March 4, 2011  Stroller Strut – Outdoor fitness on a track which combines intervals of walking and running along with strength and endurance exercises. Morning Movers – Outdoor exercise class and walking program offered at the school bus stop to get parents moving once their child is on the bus. Saturday Program – Structured play for children ages 5 – 12 in two-hour intervals giving parents time to work out. The local Commissary provides healthy snacks. Family Zumba – Mom and children ages 4 and up enjoy the Zumba craze. Many installation fitness centers now have family member work out spaces that allow parents to supervise small children in a play area while they work out. Some centers are now equipped with exercise equipment for school aged children to get them actively involved in fitness at a young age and help develop a culture of fitness that will last a lifetime. Whatever your fitness needs, check out your local MWR fitness programs or contact your Installation fitness professionals to get you started.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 opened this week – 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.From the Office of Community Support for Military Families with Special Needs• Staff meet with ‘Kids Included Together’ Isabel Hodge met with the executive director of Kids Included Together, a national training center on inclusion, on February 23rd. They discussed Exceptional Family Member Program family support and materials for parents available in Braille and multiple languages.Page 3 
  4. 4. This Week in MC&FP   March 4, 2011 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.• College Grants Up For Grabs – Completed Applications Due March 11, 2011 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 the Air Force Aid Society no later than next week on Friday, 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 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. Selection is heavily based on cost of attendance, family income, and is dependent on the number of eligible applicants competing. Final need assessment will be determined by an independent agency. Apply now!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: March 11-12 Guard and Reserve Charlotte, N.C. March 12-13 Guard and Reserve Grenada, Miss. 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.Page 4 
  5. 5. This Week in MC&FP   March 4, 2011 In the News• From the American Forces Press Service – DoD Improves Troops’ Access to Quality Education Defense Department officials are taking extensive measures – from education reviews to agency partnerships – to ensure service members have access to quality education and learning opportunities in their off-duty hours, a DOD official said. Robert L. Gordon III, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy, outlined these efforts for members of a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee yesterday. Each year, one-third of the nation’s service members enroll in post-secondary education courses leading to associate’s, bachelor’s and advanced degrees, Gordon said. And this past year alone, officials tallied more than 857,000 course enrollments and more than 45,000 service members who earned a degree or certification. See• From the American Forces Press Service – Holly Petraeus Aims to Protect Troops’ Finances Years ago, Holly Petraeus and her husband, then a young Army officer, went shopping for a new desk. Looking for a bargain, they honed in on a gray, metal desk at a rent-to-own store, where the monthly payments were set low to attract customers and to distract from an inflated bottom-line cost. “We spent, I’m sure, far more by the time we finished renting the thing than we would have spent just going out and buying a desk,” Petraeus said. “It was really ugly too -- enormous and hard to move,” she added with a laugh. “I had to think, ‘Why did we do that?’” See• From the Family Matters Blog –Mrs. Petraeus Seeks Financial Feedback I was a young airman when I fell for my first scam. I was seeking a loan to purchase some furniture – my credit cards were all maxed – and spotted an ad in the local newspaper. It drew me like a beacon, advertising quick and easy loans to people with shaky credit histories. I figured I could score some cash with minimal stress and pay it back with a military allotment. I called and gave them my personal information and then was told, since my credit score wasn’t the best, that I’d have to send in a lump sum before I’d be granted the loan. I don’t recall the exact amount, but it was at least $500. I sent the money off and waited to hear from the loan company – and waited, and waited. After a few weeks, I called the number again and it was disconnected. No loan and my money was long gone. See• From the American Forces Press Service – Supreme Court Decisions Affect Servicemembers, Vets The U.S. Supreme Court has issued three decisions with military connections over the last two days. In what may be the most contentious of the cases, the court ruled that members of a Westboro, Kan., church have the right to picket at funerals for service members killed in action. Yesterday, the court reversed a lower court decision and decided a reservist had been the victim of bias due to his military service. Also yesterday, the court ruled that Veterans Affairs Department deadlines for veterans applying for benefits do not have “jurisdictional consequences.” See 5 
  6. 6. This Week in MC&FP   March 4, 2011 Tips of the Week• Nutrition Tip of the Week – Nutrition Tip – Salt: The Hidden Truth (Part 2) Shopping tips to help reduce your sodium intake: - Fresh is best when trying to eat less salt or sodium. Avoid the aisles. Shop the perimeter of the store where you’ll find the produce, lean meats and dairy foods, which are naturally low in sodium, and all at significant savings of more than 30 percent. - In the center aisles, look for the many reduced–sodium foods that are available today. These include everything from soups to chips and crackers. All of these foods may be included when trying to reduce your salt intake. - Read the nutrition labels to find out how much sodium per serving is in the food you are buying. Choose the lower–sodium foods, especially soups. When possible, make your own soup to better control the amount of salt you eat. - Buy and use the sodium-free marinades for chicken, beef, pork and seafood. You can also use any marinade left in the bottle to cook vegetables, potatoes or pasta. - When buying and using canned vegetables and beans, rinse them under running water at home. This will remove up to 40 percent of the sodium. - Buy and use herbs and seasoning powders instead of seasoning salts. Create your own mixes with different herbs. When in doubt, use garlic and onion powder to season meat or vegetables. - There is a nationally known eating plan, the DASH diet, that can help lower high blood pressure. DASH, which stands for ‘Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension,’ isn’t a weight-loss diet, but rather an eating style to help reduce your risk of serious health complications. It helps lower blood pressure by including nutrients, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium, all of which are associated with lower blood pressure. These key nutrients are boosted by including more fruits, vegetables and low-fat or nonfat dairy in your daily diet. If you are battling high blood pressure, or just want to follow a healthy eating plan, DASH helps lower sodium or salt in your diet. For more information on making healthy and nutritious food choices, check out the Commissary’s website at• Parenting Tip of the Week – Social Media, Technology Connects Communities You may have heard how Fort Benning in Georgia hosted a town hall meeting via Facebook in January. More than 14,000 people tuned for the meeting, posting almost 150 questions during the event. Another unit based in Fort Hood, Texas, and deployed to Afghanistan had a Facebook page, which its captain routinely updated. These are just two examples of how technology can be used to keep military families and command staff connected. Regardless of what kind of social media outlets you may use, take advantage of the free military family resources and networks available via the internet. One good place to start is Military HOMEFRONT at 6 
  7. 7. This Week in MC&FP   March 4, 2011 • Let’s Move/Childhood Obesity Tip of the Week – 5-2-1-0 Fitness Program for Children and Families In a nutshell, the 5-2-1-0 plan is: 5: Eat five or more fruits and vegetables every day. 2: Cut TV and computer play screen time to two hours or less every day. 1: Participate in at least one hour of moderate physical activity every day or 20 minutes of vigorous activity at least three times a week. 0: For almost zero sugar-sweetened drinks every day, restrict soda pop, sports drinks, and fruit drinks. Instead, drink water and three to four servings a day of skim or 1 percent milk. For more information see:• Financial Tip of the Week – How to Protect Yourself from Credit Card Skimming While youve grown accustomed to the convenience of credit cards, thieves have used the technology to create a new kind of fraud – card skimming. Its one more danger you must guard yourself against and another maddening example of how the crooks find ways to turn technology on its head. Bad guys buy magnetic card readers – readily available online – and attach them to legitimate card readers at ATM machines, gas station pumps, movie rental kiosks, or anywhere they think they can get away with it. The counterfeit card reader captures the credit card information of everyone who uses the machine. On ATM machines, thieves also attach tiny video cameras to steal PIN numbers. Crooks then remove the phony device and use the stored information to buy online or write the data onto new magnetic strips to make counterfeit credit cards or ATM cards. The newest skimmers are outfitted with radio devices, which send the information over a cellular network to the bad guys, giving them instant access to your credit card. Portable skimmers – small enough to fit in a palm – can be used by anyone who handles your credit card, such as a waiter. All he has to do is get your card out of your sight for a second. Thats enough time to swipe it through the device, and steal your information without you suspecting a thing. Until the new authentication technology takes root, follow these tips to protect your credit card from skimming: - Dont let your credit card out of sight. Watch carefully anyone who handles your card. - Keep track of receipts and check your credit card statements regularly to make sure you authorized all purchases. - Report any unauthorized purchases immediately to your credit card companies. - Dont use a credit card reader if there are any signs of tampering. Dont swipe your card through devices that offer to clean the magnetic strip. Those are scams designed to capture your credit card information.Page 7 
  8. 8. This Week in MC&FP   March 4, 2011 • Military OneSource Tip of the Week – Quick Tips for Learning to Relax Learning to manage your stress will help you feel healthy and happy. Many people deal with stress by getting exercise or going for a long walk. But the fast pace of military life doesn’t always allow time for that. Here are 10 quick things you can do to manage stress and feel more relaxed: - Practice deep breathing. Take five slow, deep breaths. Concentrate on filling your lungs by breathing in through your nose, then slowly letting all of the air back out through your mouth. Breathing slowly in and out at least five times – more if you can – will help you slow down and relax. - Relax your facial muscles. Close your eyes and try to imagine letting go of all of the muscles in your face. Gently massage your scalp and face with your fingers. - Do five slow neck rolls. Close your eyes, and gently tilt your head from side to side or around in a circle to stretch the muscles in your neck. Your neck muscles often hold a lot of tension and neck rolls will help release some of that stress and help you feel more relaxed. - Tighten, and then loosen, the muscles in your hands. Clench your hands up tightly, and hold this position for a second, then release your muscles. Repeat this a few times. - Keep a picture of your child, a friend, your spouse, a pet, or a favorite outdoor spot in your workspace or another place you spend a lot of time in. When you start to feel stressed, look at the picture for a few minutes. - Get up, go outside, and take a quick walk at home or during your break at work. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel after even just a few minutes outside. - Laugh. Share a joke or a funny story with a co-worker, friend, or family member. Laughter is a great way to reduce feelings of stress and feel more relaxed. - Keep a stress ball with you and toss the ball from one hand to the other for a few minutes, or squeeze the ball a few times to help release some of your tension. - Listen to music that makes you feel good on your way to and from work. Music is a wonderful stress reducer. Try to find music you like that makes you feel calm and relaxed. - Avoid using alcohol or drugs to help you feel relaxed. Find healthier ways to manage stress and feel good. Going to the gym or going for a walk are much better at relieving stress and will make you feel better in the long run. Try to find activities that help you relax and that you can fit into your busy schedule on a regular basis. 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 of the Week – Spouse Career Well-being and a Happier, Healthier You What you spend your time on each day has a significant effect on your self-esteem and identity, your overall health and stress levels, and your level of happiness regardless of whether you’re a paid employee, a volunteer, a student, a parent or a retiree. Work-related experiences become part of your proud history of accomplishments and fuel future career decision making. If you like what you do and are surrounded by people you like, your career well-being will be enhanced. If the opposite is true, your mental and physical health can be negatively affected short and long term.Page 8 
  9. 9. This Week in MC&FP   March 4, 2011  According to Chief Scientist Dr. Jim Harter for Gallup’s International Workplace Management and Well-Being Practice, boosting career well-being might also reduce the risk of anxiety and depression and lower levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides. These results suggest that there is a direct link between satisfaction with workplace experiences and physical health. Harter’s research also suggests that finding meaningful ways to spend work time each day might be one of the most important priorities to consider for maintaining overall good health and happiness over the years. To learn more about military Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) and career well- being, visit the website. Resources and support services offered through this site could help put you on the path to greater work satisfaction and result in a more confident, happier, healthier you. Don’t wait. Start today.     #### Page 9