Pictured above (from left to right): Ann Domsch (KS OMK Coordinator), Laura Walker (Institute Intern), Kali Summers (AmeriCorps VISTA), Jackie Cox (Extension Project Coordinator), SGT Theresa Vail (Miss Kansas 2013), Devon Perkins (Institute Intern), and Sandi Smith (KS OMK Program Assistant)
In celebration of Month of the Military Child and Purple Up! Day, the Kansas National Guard Youth Program hosted a professional development on April 15th, 2014 in Wichita, Kansas. Kansas: Operation Military Kids members attended the event along with many other professionals who work with military kids. This event included two guest speakers: Dr. Sameer Hinduja and SGT Theresa Vail. Dr. Hinduja, Co-Director of the Cyberbullying Research Center out of Florida Atlantic University, spoke about cyberbullying and safe networking. SGT Theresa Vail, Miss Kansas 2013, spoke in regards to advocating for anti-bullying. The professional development was free to attend, the only requirement was attendees wear purple in celebration of Purple Up! Day for military kids.
Kansas: Operation Military Kids staff have been visiting the School Age Center and the Middle School/Teen Center on Fort Riley every other week. We have established relationships with the staff, so that we can be a future resource. We have provided the School Age Center and the Middle School/Teen Center with 4 boxes of Burpee Seeds, containing 100 packets each. Burpee Seeds are Welcome Home Gardens that military children can plant with their families. We also provided the Middle School Teen Center with 30 Kansas Garden Guides for their gardening club. Finally, we have provided a 4-H Health and Fitness curriculum, including jump ropes for the children to use.
Starting in January 2014, we have been conducting support groups for military children at Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School and Lee Elementary School in Manhattan, KS. We have been focusing on physical fitness, gardening/planting, art, community and resiliency in these groups. On January 24th, we participated in Lee Elementary School’s Military Family Night. We had the Zoom Book Albums available for the kids to make. Using a computer program, the children were able to create personalized picture books! Parents participated in creating these picture books with their children. On April 29th, we participated in Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School’s Military Family Night. We were also able to have the Zoom Book Albums for the kids to make, as well as a parachute activity for the children.