Supporting military youth in minnesota schools and communities
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Supporting Military Youth in Minnesota Schools and Communities. Minnesota Deployment Cycle Support. Laura Poppen Sarah Stille State Youth Program CoordinatorOperation Military Kids 8180 Belden BlvdYouth Specialist Cottage Grove, MNCottage Grove, MN 651.268.8695785.313.3569

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Supporting Military Youth in Minnesota Schools and Communities

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Supporting Military Youth in Minnesota Schools and Communities

Minnesota Deployment Cycle Support

Laura Poppen Sarah Stille

State Youth Program CoordinatorOperation Military Kids

8180 Belden BlvdYouth Specialist

Cottage Grove, MNCottage Grove, MN


NG Youth Program Mission:

To Support the

Emotional, Social, and Academic needs of

National Guard Children and Youth

Military Impact in MinnesotaA New Reality

15,000 dependent children

Brothers, sisters, relatives, teachers, pastors, and other community members

Every County in Minnesota is home to military families

No Active Duty Bases/Installations in Minnesota

  • Army National Guard

  • Air National Guard

  • Army Reserve

  • Air Force Reserve

  • Navy Reserve

  • Marine Reserve

  • Army Corps of Engineers

  • Active Duty

  • Contractors

Issues for Geographically Dispersed Youth


  • Increased care of home and younger siblings

  • Behavioral changes, peer pressure, lower self-esteem

  • Difficulty understanding and dealing with media

    School-Age Youth:

  • Behavioral changes

  • Increased anxiety

  • Change in school performance


  • Feeling of abandonment and loss

  • Anxiety issues regarding safety of deployed loved one

  • Access to affordable and quality childcare


  • Tell children about the deployment

  • Use honest, age-appropriate explanations

  • Do not make promises you can not keep

  • Spend individual time with each child

  • Develop a plan for staying in touch

  • Say good-bye to children, do not slip away

  • Inform teachers, child care providers, and others of upcoming deployment

Child Care

  • Operation Military Child Care

    • Child Care Subsidy during deployment

    • Contact, 1.800.424.2246

  • MN Child Care Respite Program

    • 8 hours of free Child Care per month during deployment

    • Contact or Julie Wasiluk, 651.290.9704 ext 119

Youth Development

  • Parents As Teachers/Heroes At Home

    • Certified Parent Educators provide playgroups and conduct individual Family Home Visits

    • Focus group: Families with youth ages prenatal-three, playgroups are open to all ages

    • Free and accessible at any stage of deployment cycle

    • Connect with other Military families with young children.

    • Contact: April Olson,


Youth Development

  • National Guard Youth Camp


  • Operation Purple Camp

    •, McGregor, St. Croix

  • Military Kids Camp


  • Operation Military Kids

    • Camps and Retreats


    • Support youth at events, FRG’s, FRA, FPA, MIRT

    • Age-appropriate curriculum with intentional life skill building themes

Student Support

  • Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC)


  • Study Strong

    • Free on-line tutoring for Military youth through

  • Scholarship Resources

  • Our Military Kids

    • $500 grant for After-School activities that are not school related


Student Support

  • Minnesota State Teen Panel (MNTP)

  • Who can apply:

    • Teens ages 13-17, who can commit to 2 years and who will represent Military connected youth in the state

    • Teens who show leadership within their communities and want to make a difference,

    • Do 8 hours volunteer service a mont

    • Teens who can commit to monthly conference calls and 3 meetings per year

    • Focus is on educational, fun, and humanitarian service learning projects, teen led with adult guidance

Student Support

  • Yellow Ribbon Schools

    • To train and empower school officials to support Service Members and their families during deployment and reintegration

    • Raise awareness in educators, administration and staff of the common challenges military youth face and know available resources

    • Create an environment that is sensitive to the additional stress deployment creates in the life of a child

    • Develop a peer/youth involvement network that is organized to support military families and youth

    • Increase flexibility for the military youth to maximize time spent with Service Member when leave is taken during the school year

10 Things Military Teens Want You to Know

  • We are proud of our parents

  • We think about war and we know what it means

  • We may move a lot

  • We take on a lot of responsibility

  • We live in the community

  • We appreciate recognition of our family’s service

  • We value diversity and new experiences

  • We miss our parents

  • In a lot of ways we’re just like other teens

  • We serve too

Thank You

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