View Full Version : Trainers help communities help military kids

10-10-07, 07:25 PM
Trainers help communities help military kids
By Karen Jowers - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Oct 10, 2007 16:49:06 EDT

A team of trainers called “Living in the New Normal” will go on the road to El Paso, Texas, next week to help community educators and other professionals come up with a plan to support military children affected by deployments and military-related illnesses, injuries or deaths, according to Mary Keller, executive director of the Military Child Education Coalition.

The coalition is in discussions with a couple of other communities interested in the initiative, she said.

Two days of training for community organizations is part of the initiative, which was developed by the coalition after it heard from school counselors and others that they wanted more information about how communities can help military children. After two years of development, LINN was launched early this year, and the first training was held near Fort Hood, Texas. A statewide training session was held in North Carolina in August.

Patty Shinseki, wife of retired Gen. Eric Shinseki, former Army chief of staff, is chairwoman of the LINN initiative. She told those attending a family forum Tuesday at the Association of the U.S. Army annual convention that the coalition continues to hear from “many communities that care deeply about military families.” At the training, the team helps communities come up with their own plan for helping military children.

At the statewide training in North Carolina, initiated by the governor, North Carolina First Lady Mary Easley noted there are about 96,000 children in the families of 123,000 military men and women in that state. “There are military children scattered across every school system in the state that are struggling with the deployment, injury or loss of a loved one,” she told the group of about 100 representatives of various government, business, education, health agencies and faith-based organizations, according to an Aug. 8 release from the governor’s office.

“There is no single agency that can meet all of their needs, so everyone must be a part of the homefront efforts that support our military families as they transition to life in the ‘new normal,’” she said.

The LINN initiative also includes an extensive resource list for helping children of all ages.