April is the Month of the Military Child, and Mascoutah School District 19 celebrates with a week of activities starting April 29—and because of Mascoutah’s proximity to a military installation, this celebration honors a large portion of our student population. #19EveryStudent #MilitaryChild
Scott Air Force Base, founded in 1917, has been a fixture in the community since its re-designation as an Air Force base in 1948. Our district, which serves over 4,200 students, provides educational services for more than 2,200 military-connected students—Scott Elementary, alone, serves all of the students living on Scott Air Force Base.
The Month of the Military Child was conceived by former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger in 1986 and has continued since its inception. Purple, seen as the symbolic color combination of all branches of service, is the official color of this celebration—and Mascoutah is already full of purple pride. In addition, the dandelion is the flower of the military child because “[d]andelions are resilient—they put down roots anywhere and everywhere, they bloom wherever the winds carry them, and they survive in a broad range of climates,” wrote Karen Huffman.
We take great pride in the military presence throughout our community. Each of our schools offers numerous programs throughout the year to support and honor our dedicated military personnel and their children. In May, Scott Elementary will have one of the Air Force Bands play for all students, staff, and parents at an outdoor concert. Many of our schools also have maps displayed where military-connected students can mark where they have lived. And though any student may participate, we are honored to have an amazing high school AFJROTC program—junior Dalton Grove was selected top AFJROTC Cadet from the State of Illinois for 2018-2019. Check with your child’s school to see what is planned for the week.
However, the Month of the Military Child celebrates and honors far more than just our students. The following statistics from the website Military Benefits highlight the scope and impact of the military on military-connected American children throughout the world:
- Approximately 2 million military children have experienced a parental deployment since September 11, 2001.
- There are currently 1.2 million military children of active duty members worldwide.
- Nearly 80% of military children attend public schools throughout the United States.
- The average military family moves three times more often than their civilian counterpart.
- There are nearly two million total-force dependent children including more than 900,000 Army dependents, 400,000 Air Force dependents, and nearly 300,000 Navy and 118,000 Marine dependents.
We want to thank all of our military community members for their service, and we especially want to honor their families for their steadfastness. For more information on the Month of the Military Child, please visit the following sources: