October 6, 2015 --
Corps Logistics Base Albany’s Conference Center quickly filled with area
educators, counselors, agency directors and other supporters, who convened to
gain critical training on improving current methods of maximizing assistance to
transitioning military children, Oct. 5.
from distances around the four corners of Southwest Georgia, a crowd of roughly
60 participants were welcomed to the Military Child Education Coalition training by MCLB Albany’s
School Liaison Officer, Latreesa Perryman.
highlighted the purpose, some of the key points of interest and some advantages of conducting
the full day of training scheduled for the group.
“The training today is entitled ‘Helping Our Military Children to Find Their
S.P.A.R.C.,’" Perryman said. “The acronym S.P.A.R.C. stands for strengths,
potential, aspirations, resourcefulness and confidence. We’re hoping with the
trainers here today that people will leave with the knowledge and understanding
of what it is our military children face and what they go through. Being
the children of active-duty (service members) is tough. Children can move
anywhere from six to nine times because their parents are in the military.
wanted to come up with some innovative ways to try and help them throughout their
school transitioning,” she continued. “The Military Child Education Coalition
(facilitators) will do an excellent job on today in giving that information. It
may be a refresher to some and new to others, but I hope there is a take-away
that can be implemented in the various schools settings and community settings
where they serve our military children.”
Commanding Officer, Col. James C. Carroll III, MCLB Albany, greeted conference participants
and echoed Perryman by extending an official welcome to the installation.
morning everyone and welcome to Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany,” the
colonel said. “It may be a little damp outside, but I hope you’ll find warmth
in our hospitality. As the commanding officer aboard the base, I think that it
is vitally important – and nothing is more vitally important than our children’s
education. Your presence here today speaks volumes to your caring and attention
to our next generation, the future of our nation.
children, unlike many other children, are dealing with many, many things as a
result of their parents’ occupation,” Carroll continued. “As a parent of young
adult children, (my wife) Sherry and I have been recipients of excellent facilitators
throughout our 30-year history in the Marine Corps. Equipping our children to
deal with those stressors, again, is very, very important. That’s why you’re
here; helping our children do more than just get by, but (helping them) to become
thriving, productive citizens in this great nation.
to (again) welcome you to our base,” Carroll reemphasized. “I want to thank you
for your attention, your time this morning and for coming out to share your
expertise to help our military children.”
Sally Patterson, master trainer, and Veronica Curtis Richie, professional
development trainer, Military Child Education Coalition located in Harker Heights, Texas,
presented a number of sessions on various techniques educators, parents and
community partners can implement to assist military children.
we are creating an awareness of gifts and processes that military children have
and need to thrive,” Patterson said. “Military children face different types of
complexities because of the services of their parents, but they still can
thrive; they still can develop their strengths and they still can develop their full
potential. That’s what this training is all about.”
duo engaged the attendees in a number of interactive activities, which were
designed to invoke dialogue, brainstorming and teamwork.
activity was entitled ‘PCS;’ Richie and Patterson allowed the participants to
comfortably settle into seats at various tables around the room, usually with
people from their respective school systems, offices or agencies. Once there, each
was required to count off and move to a corresponding numbered table, thus
separating them from their friends, colleagues and former table mates.
whether through permanent changes of station, and/or temporary deployments,
gave attendees real-life scenarios simulating what transitioning military
children experience with each relocation.
Other training exercises
included: video clips; materials and information on how adults of military
children can help them find their S.P.A.R.C. and develop it; the central elements of
thriving and what makes children not just survive, but to reach their full
potential; positive and negative mindsets and how adults can help children
develop a mindset that tells them no matter where they go or how many times
they move and no matter what military action is taking place, they can thrive.