Teachers get Help Welcoming Incoming Military Children

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Staff from the Military Child Education Coalition have traveled back to the interior to provide teachers and district administration with a class on Supporting Military Children through School Transitions.
The focus of today's training was on how students feel, transitioning from school to school while their parents are in the military.
According to Class Trainer, Sally Patterson, it's important to have conditions in place so when new students do arrive to school, they can feel welcomed right away.

Sally Patterson; Class Trainer>>"Regardless of the quality of the school, if the social, emotional needs aren't met children have a hard time being successful. Military children have a unique set of circumstances in their lives. They move six to nine times in 12 years and what we don't want is for them to miss out on any opportunity of them just being a normal child. So there are going to be complexities to moves no matter what you do but we want them to be a child first and we want them to have access to everything that every child has and they're not penalized because of their parent's career."

School Liaison for the schools on Eielson Air Force Base, Earnest Kincade, also joined the class.
The district has recently decided to revamp the student ambassador program, which Kincade has helped to oversee.

All to help incoming students get settled in and feel welcomed.
Earnest Kincade; School Liaison - EAFB>>"The students come in they have a student there at the school to help them, go to lunch with them, tell them where the coaches are. If they're interested in basketball, they'll say I know the basketball coach, I can get you in touch with the basketball coach, even the basketball captain, or if it's volleyball or whatever it is, the student has a student to student ambassador for them to lead them around the school and the students seem to receive it very well. When they get there they don't feel like an outsider because they actually have a friend to say hey how are you doing, my name is Sally, oh man the basketball program is great here, you're going to fit in just well."