April is the Month of the Military Child. It’s a chance to celebrate children all across the nation who make daily sacrifices and overcome many challenges. Military children deal with deployments, moving every couple of years, changing schools, and sometimes, the loss of a parent. It’s time to celebrate these special children and recognize all they endure!
Here are some ways you can celebrate this special month and honor the military children in your life.
Show your support for military kids by wearing purple on Friday, April 15. Purple is the color that symbolizes all branches of the military. It’s a combination of the colors of each branch: Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine red, and Navy blue. While April 15 is the national Purple Up day, be sure to check your child’s school to see if they are wearing purple on a different day.
Fort Jackson/Military Sponsored Events
1. Young Lives Big Stories Contest (April 1 – 30)
The Young Lives, BIG Stories contest gives Army-connected children and youth ages three through 12th grade the chance to tell their story about what it means to be a military child through pictures or written, audio, video submissions. This annual contest runs during April, the Month of the Military Child (MOMC). Children and youth have the opportunity to win great prizes.
2. Virtual College and Career Fair (April 28)
The college and career fair is planned to connect teens and their families to colleges, universities, apprenticeships, job training programs, Military Services Academies, Commission Corps opportunities and more.
The college and career fair will be held on April 28, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. EST and 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. EST. You can register HERE for the event.
3. Operation Megaphone (April 29 – 30)
Army CYS Youth will connect teens using virtual or in-person formats, as determined by garrison command approval and HPCON level.
Youth from Army CYS Youth programs worldwide will meet for one 24-hour period to discuss key issues that affect military youth across the services.
4. Family Fun Fair (April 29)
Bring the entire family out for an enjoyable day of free games and various activities. Concessionaires will also be available for refreshments. Open to the entire Fort Jackson Community.
The Family Fun Fair Event will take place on April 29, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., at Patriots Park (corner of Marion St. and Strom Thurmond Blvd). In case of inclement weather, the event will be held in the Solomon Center.
Be sure to stop by the Exchange on base for some special discounts and contests. Visit the Exchange website for a chance to win some fabulous prizes! Prizes include a variety of toys. The Exchange also has a variety of “Military Brat” souvenirs like dog tags, pins, patches, coins, lanyards, and bags available for purchase in-store. You can also get a FREE military brat patch at select Exchange locations during the entire month of April.
6. The Commissary
It’s time for the annual Month of the Military Child coloring contest! Head on over the Commissary website for contest information and coloring pages. Contest is open to children 11 years old and younger. The winner of the contest will receive a $25 Commissary gift card. Click HERE to sign your child up and get your coloring pages.
Other Local Events
Check your child’s school calendar to see what special events they might be offering. Some schools may even be celebrating this year with a Military Family Spirit Week, April 18 – 22.
Check to see if your local community is celebrating in any way.
- Military discounts: Be sure to check out local businesses and restaurants to see if they are offering any special promotions this month. You can also find a helpful list of other discounts here.
- School project: Ask your child’s teacher (or other teachers as well!) to make a special project celebrating military children. It could be as simple as making a special picture frame, bookmark, drawing, journal, letters to military children, etc.
- School assembly: Work at a school? Why not have an assembly to celebrate military children? Ask the students to write poems or a short story about being a military child and have a few students read them at the assembly. Have the school band play. You can even do the Pledge of Allegiance. Why not have all the military children stand and be recognized? So many possibilities!
- Website promotion and flyers: Schools and businesses can promote the Month of the Military Child on their website and provide links to helpful resources for military families. Don’t forget to send out flyers and promote any event(s) your school and/or business may be having!
- Classroom activities: There are a wide variety of activities that can be done in the classroom to celebrate. Teachers can read stories about military children to their students; Military-themed Show and Tell; Create a world map and have the military students in the classroom mark where they’ve lived; have theme days for one or two weeks and have the students dress accordingly. So many options!
There are many ways to celebrate military children in April! No matter how you celebrate, don’t forget to tag those social media pictures with #purpleup! Let’s join together and show our military children and families how special and important they are. And let’s honor them for the countless sacrifices they make on a daily basis.