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Web Site Helps Parents, Children With School, Deployment Issues

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2003 – A Web site created to help service members, spouses and children navigate the challenges associated with military moves and deployments debuted Oct. 7.

Sponsored by the Defense Department, the site offers advice and resource assistance for school transition issues, military deployments and more, John Molino, deputy under secretary of defense for military community and family policy, noted during an Oct. 24 Pentagon interview.

DoD has long recognized the need to disseminate helpful information to the field "for students who transition between schools as their (military) parents are reassigned," Molino explained. For years, he noted, the department "has tried to provide as good information as is available to facilitate that transition."

The emergence of the World Wide Web, he pointed out, "has been an excellent opportunity for us to take advantage of that technology, provide that information, and grow from there."

The site, Molino explained, contains school transition and deployment information targeted to the concerns of military parents, children age 6-12, teenagers, families with special-needs children, military leaders and educators.

Parents can access education-related information on transferring student records, graduation requirements and more.

The site also enables military children and teens to access tips and information to help them cope with family moves and military parent deployments, adapting to new schools, and making new friends.

Monitored children's and teen's "chat rooms" also are available on the Web site. The chat rooms, Molino pointed out, "will enhance the ability of children to share their own experiences, which will be most relevant in that age group."

Today's global war on terrorism, Molino pointed out, has brought the issue of deployments to the front burner for military families.

"In an age of increased deployments, it is more important to have this information on the Web site," Molino said. The war, he added, has made school districts more aware of the concerns of military families.

The site's overall purpose, Molino said, is to help service members' children succeed within the framework of the military lifestyle.

"These are not insurmountable problems," he said. "These are challenges, much like the challenges they will face for the rest of their lives.

"This (Web site) represents the department's commitment to facilitate success for our military children."

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