This Week in MC&FP
April 22, 2011
After many months of planning, the 2011 DoD-USDA Family Resilience Conference
Forging the Partnership, is upon us. Nearly 2,000 attendees are expected and through technology,
you‟ll be able to join us, too. Please see the information and virtual addresses below. There is no
charge to access the coverage, you won‟t need to register, and you won‟t need a log in.
We‟d like to recognize and extend a sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed to the
planning, coordination, and execution of the conference. It would not have been possible without the
many willing, enthusiastic hands and hearts. We hope to be able to thank you in person, but until then,
Have a good week and take care.
Please note: Some hyperlinks in this text are lengthy, sometimes extending more than one line. For best
results, cut and paste the entire link into your Web browser.
DoDEA to Celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week
The Department of Defense Education Activity will join schools around the country and the
National Parent Teacher Association in recognizing the nation‟s teachers during National Teacher
Appreciation Week. This year‟s observance, scheduled from May 1-7, encourages all citizens to
show their appreciation to teachers and offers the opportunity for everyone to reaffirm their
commitment to parent-teacher partnerships. Worldwide, DoDEA schools will honor thousands of
teachers serving military students and families.
From the Office of Family Policy/Children and Youth
“Forging the Partnership” – See you in Chicago – in person or virtually!
Can‟t make it to the conference? We believe it may be the best professional development
and networking opportunity of the year. But all is not lost! You can participate in the
conference virtually. We hope to “see” you! Here‟s how:
Live Streaming keynotes and the Town Hall – Will be linked from the main conference.
Providing policy, tools, and resources to further enhance the quality of life of service members and their families.
2. This Week in MC&FP April 22, 2011
Yes, you can watch the keynotes LIVE! (or at least three of the four – two are concurrent, so
you will have to choose) PLUS a Town Hall forum with the Senior Enlisted Advisors from all
branches of the military services.
There is no charge to access these events, you don‟t need to register, and you won‟t need a
log in. So add these events to your calendar:
- Wednesday, April 27, 8:05 a.m. CDT: Keynote Growing Strong the Sesame Way
Jeanette Betancourt will share Sesame Workshop’s outreach efforts around the physical and
emotional well-being of young children and their families. (Note: This time reflects a
change announced late Friday. In addition to the opening keynote, you‟ll see the opening
ceremony and opening remarks.)
- Thursday, April 28, 8:15 a.m. CDT (#1): I’m Tyler…Don’t Be Surprised
Tyler Greene demonstrates what can happen when people understand that what a young
person CAN do is much more important than what he cannot.
- Thursday, April 28, 8:15 a.m. CDT (#2): Deep Brain Learning: Pathways to Potential with
Larry Brendtro – Build on our brain pathways to develop trust, talent, self-control, and
morality in environments that foster belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity.
- Thursday, April 28, 1:30 p.m. CDT: Town Hall with Senior Enlisted Advisors
The Senior enlisted leadership form the military services will field questions and discuss
issues of importance to military families.
- Friday, April 29, 10:30 a.m. CDT Meeting the Diverse Health Needs of Adolescent Insuring
Health Equity: The Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center Model
Angela Diaz will address the issues of health disparities of teens, especially those faced by
minority and poor urban youth, through a „philosophy in action.‟
Twitter Tweet and Facebook Posts – Want to know what your colleagues are thinking as they
participated in the Keynotes and Town Halls? Check out the Conference Twitter feed!
- Follow us @FRConf
- Tweet your own comments with #FRConf.
- Check the photos and wall posts on Facebook by liking us – facebook.com/FRConf
- Your comments are also welcome!
The DoD-USDA Family Resilience Conference proceedings will be online about May 15th, but
join us online – it‟s the next best thing to being there!
For a quick look at the conference schedule, see
3. This Week in MC&FP April 22, 2011
Military OneSource Webinars – April Sessions Continue
Webinars are Web-based training sessions using teleconference audio and the internet to deliver an
interactive seminar. All posted times are listed in Eastern Daylight Savings Time. For more
information, see http://www.militaryonesource.com/MOS/OnlineCommunity/Webinars.aspx
Digital Literacy for Kids, Monday, April 25, 2011, 10 a.m.
Get AD-ucated! Help kids improve their digital literacy – talk to them about staying safe online,
being good digital citizens, and thinking critically about the advertisements all around them.
Sleep Strategies for Infants and Children, Friday, April 29, 2011, at 10:00 a.m.
Getting infants and young children to sleep – and stay asleep – can be a tremendous source of
stress for parents. This webinar is designed to help parents learn about children‟s sleep patterns
at different stages of development and explore effective ways of helping their children fall
asleep and sleep through the night. Participants will be able to learn about children‟s sleep
patterns at different stages of development, explore specific sleep problems, identify conditions
that disrupt sleep for young children, and learn strategies for establishing a nighttime routine.
For more information on these and other upcoming Webinars, see
From the State Liaison/Voluntary Education Office
States Assisting Military Members and Their Families – Update:
We‟ve made great progress since our last update. We currently have 95 active bills in 36 states, and
to date, 29 bills have been signed into law.
The following is a breakout of this activity:
- Issue #2 (ensuring deployment separation does not determine child custody decisions): three
signed into law with 17 bills still active in 15 states
- Issue #3 (increasing availability of quality child care): One signed into law with three bills still
active in three states
- Issue #4 (minimize school disruption for military children by adopting the Interstate Compact on
Educational Opportunities for Military Children): Two signed into law with seven bills still
active in six states
- Issue #5 (improving the portability of occupational licenses for military spouses): Three signed
into law with 13 bills still active in 11 states
- Issue #5 (simplifying licensing requirement for separating military members): Three signed
into law with four bills still active in three states
- Issue #6 (providing unemployment compensation eligibility for military spouses): Three bills still
active in two states
- Issue #7 (enhancing the ability of states to enforce DoD's predatory lending protections):
Three bills still active in three states
- Issue #8 (improving the Absentee Voting process): Nine signed into law with 36 bills still
active in 22 states, and
4. This Week in MC&FP April 22, 2011
- Issue #9: (States recognizing the DD93 as the authoritative document for PADD
identification): Six signed into law with nine bills still active in nine states
In addition to the above, two professional license extension bills (Issue #1 – primarily benefits
Guard & Reserve members who are deployed). For additional information, please visit
http://www.usa4militaryfamilies.dod.mil/ or write to USA4MilitaryFamilies@dod.mil.
From the Resale and NAF Policy Office
Commissary On-Site Sale Events
The Guard/Reserve On-site Sales Program provides the commissary benefit to deserving
Guard/Reserve members and their families who live in areas that aren‟t close to an existing
commissary store. These sales are not only for the Guard and Reserve – they're for any authorized
shopper. Currently, there are no on-site sales for online ordering. For more information, visit
In the next few weeks, DeCA will deliver the benefit:
April 27-30 U.S. Southern Command Doral, Florida
April 30 186th Engineers Caribou, Maine
April 30 Reserves Camp Joseph T. Robinson
North Little Rock, Okla.
In the News
From the Family Matters blog – Show Seeks Military Families for Home Makeover
I‟m excited to share new information about an amazing opportunity for deserving military families.
The producers of ABC‟s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” are seeking people involved in the
military whose home deserves an extreme makeover. The producers are looking for people with
“amazing strength of character and who put their own needs aside to help others,” a press release
said. “Whether it‟s a soldier, a mom, a teacher or a fireman, we think deserving families are
families who inspire those around them.”
From Family Focus Friday – Developing Career Opportunities for Military Spouses
These are challenging times for our military community, ranging from natural disasters to the daily
realities of life. As such, these are times when the well-being of our military families is more
important than ever. We are strengthening military families not only to navigate the unique aspects
of military life but also to thrive in the wake of life‟s uncertainties. One of our commitments to
enhance career opportunities for military spouses is based on the Presidential Study Directive,
“Strengthening Our Military Families: Meeting America‟s Commitment.” See
From DoD Live – Month of the Military Child Coverage Continues
Throughout the month of April, the Department of Defense is recognizing the important role
military children play as part of the military family. As we continue into the second half of Month
5. This Week in MC&FP April 22, 2011
of the Military Child, we‟re highlighting a variety of different stories. See
From Family Focus Friday – Writing you a letter
Letters from loved ones can serve as morale boosters for deployed servicemembers. Soldiers
magazine reached out to Army families, asking them to share letters soldiers‟ children had written
to their deployed parents.
From the American Forces Press Service – Face of Defense: Marine Coaches Youth Wrestlers
When people look at Master Sgt. Timothy D. Greenleaf, they see a 6-foot, bulky, tattooed Marine.
What isn‟t so obvious is he‟s enjoyed working with children for more than 18 years. Greenleaf,
war reserve chief for U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific logistics, devotes a large amount of his off-
duty time to being the head wrestling coach for Marine Corps Base Hawaii‟s Marine Corps
Community Services youth wrestling team.
From the American Forces Press Service – ‘Military Kid of the Year’ Has Leadership Qualities
For a 10-year-old boy, Tristan Fissette has fortitude to spare. The son of Chief Petty Officer
Patrick Fissette, a Navy reservist, the fourth-grader is working on his second-degree black belt in
karate and has no shortage of other activities that keep him busy, especially when his dad is
deployed. Despite the demands of his karate training, he finds time to help feed the hungry and to
mentor new students in karate and in school. Tristan‟s leadership qualities led a panel from the
nonprofit “Our Military Kids” organization to choose him as one of four Military Kids of the Year.
Tips of the Week
Parenting Tip of the Week – Reading Promote Language, Literacy and Learning
Reading to young children promotes language acquisition and is linked with literacy development
and, later on, with achievement in reading comprehension and overall success in school. Help
make reading fun for your children and encourage them to continue reading year round by:
Making reading a part of your daily routine. Bedtime is a good time for reading. Talk about
the story you read the night before at breakfast or lunch the next day to help reinforce the
special time you spent together.
Participating in ongoing special events at libraries in military installations. For a list of DoD
libraries, visit http://www.dod.mil/other_info/libraries.html
Reading books about other military families and children with them. The Defense Centers of
Excellence has compiled a list. See
6. This Week in MC&FP April 22, 2011
Nutrition Tip of the Week -- More Quick Meals in 30 Minutes or Less
In need of more quick, healthy meal tips? Here are some other ideas for meals that can help feed
your hungry crew.
Healthy Choice Meal Ideas
Mix this with this to get this
frozen meal in a bag or meal to extra frozen vegetables or protein, fiber, vitamins A and
go in the meat section of the beans or brown rice or whole C, crunch and flavor
bagged salad sliced almonds, low fat cheese, protein, vitamin E, fiber,
dried, canned, or fresh fruit crunch and flavor
bagged broccoli and carrots salad dressing or marinade fiber, vitamins A and C,
antioxidants, crunch and
Add these foods to your shopping list while making your life easier! For more information on
making healthy and nutritious food choices, check out the Commissary‟s Web site at
Let’s Move/Childhood Obesity Tip of the Week -- Cooking With Your Children
One of the best ways to familiarize your child with good food choices is to encourage her to cook
with you. Let her get involved in the entire process, from planning the menus to shopping for
ingredients to the actual food preparation and its serving.
When you are planning meals with her, refer to the Food Pyramid, and try to include items from the
important food groups. Explain the importance of making low-fat choices whenever possible,
choosing chicken and fish rather than red meat in most cases, or choosing low-fat cheeses over
higher-fat varieties. Particularly in her first few efforts at helping in the kitchen, let her select
recipes that she and other family members have enjoyed in the past, so she can see what's involved
in preparing them.
In assigning tasks to your child, keep in mind that they need to be age-appropriate. For instance,
you wouldn't give a six-year-old a sharp knife to chop vegetables, although she can certainly wash
the lettuce. Nor would you let her remove a hot, heavy casserole pot from the oven, although she
can carefully open the oven door for you.
Here are some other guidelines to keep in mind:
When your child is helping out, make certain that you or another adult is in the kitchen at all
When your child pares vegetables, show him or her how to point sharp edges away to avoid
Explain how to weigh and measure ingredients.
Think safety. Use the rear burners when cooking on the stove. Make sure that pot handles are
turned inward so children can't accidentally knock them off. Show your child and explain why
you are taking this safety precaution.
7. This Week in MC&FP April 22, 2011
Teach your child the importance of using potholders when touching hot saucepans and other
Turn off the oven and burners when you're finished cooking.
For more information see: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-
Financial Tip of the Week – How to Prevent Wrecking Your Credit Score
Don't underestimate the harm that even one missed mortgage payment can do to your credit score,
especially if you had good credit to begin with. The severe consequences underscore that you
shouldn't shrug off even an accidentally missed payment. Instead, you should pay it and call the
lender right away and ask for forgiveness before it mars your credit record. Being 30 days late on a
house payment, even if it is an accident, can knock 100 points off a pristine 780 credit score,
moving you from qualifying for the very best interest rates to the edge of subprime territory.
• Your past behavior counts, but your current behavior matters more.
Credit scores are intended to measure the risk that you won't repay a current or future debt. So
your careful payments over many years translate into a higher starting score. But your score
takes the biggest hit of all when you are 30 days late on a payment, falling 70 to 100 points. The
first missed payment "captures a good deal of the risk of the consumer."
• The best way to rebuild a damaged credit score, ironically, is to use credit.
Avoiding borrowing altogether means "you've frozen your credit history in a negative state," you
will be better off using a credit card judiciously and paying it off promptly, adding good-
behavior points to your record.
• A poor credit score hurts more than you think.
A person with a 620 score would pay almost 12 percent interest on a four-year $25,000 car loan,
compared with less than 5 percent for someone with a 780 score, a difference of almost $4,000
over the life of the loan. On a 30-year fixed-rate $250,000 mortgage, a person with a 620 score
might qualify for a 6 percent rate, but probably wouldn't be able to get mortgage insurance,
which is required if your down payment less than 20 percent. A person with excellent credit
might land a rate less than 5 percent and pay about $3,000 a year less.
Military OneSource Tip of the Week – Quick Tips for Helping Your Child with Homework
Homework is an important part of every child‟s education. It teaches responsibility, as well as how
to follow directions and manage time. Your involvement as a parent is crucial to helping your child
develop good study skills. Here are some ways you can help your child develop good homework
and study habits:
Make homework a priority. Make every effort to have your home be a good place for learning.
Have homework supplies on hand. Make sure you offer lots of encouragement and praise.
Teach your child to ask for help. Remind your child that it‟s OK to ask for help. Take your child
to the local library. Teach her how to get homework help on the Internet.
8. This Week in MC&FP April 22, 2011
Get to know your child’s teacher. Meet with the teacher at the beginning of the school year.
Find out the best way to get in touch if you have a question. Find out if your school has a
homework help line. If homework is consistently too easy or too hard, let the teacher know.
Help our child get organized. Start by making sure your child has an assignment book. Help
your child develop a homework routine when he comes home from school. Some children need
a few minutes outside to let off steam before they start their homework. Whatever works for
your child, try to make it part of the daily schedule.
Ask about homework every day, every week, every month, all year. Experts agree that it‟s a
good idea to check on your child‟s homework.
Set up a schedule or calendar for homework to remind your child of deadlines. Encourage your
child to keep up with big projects on the calendar, and check it often. Your child can also use it
to keep track of field trips and special events at school.
Start off with a snack. It can be hard to do homework when you‟re hungry, so give your child
time to have a snack before she gets started on homework.
Check on your child periodically while he’s doing his homework. Make sure he is okay and ask
if he has any questions that you can help him with.
If you can’t be home, call your child or ask a family member or friend to check in with your
child. Checking on your child will give her reassurance that someone is available if she has
questions about her homework.
Check out the school’s website. Many schools post homework assignments on their Web site for
students and parents. Learn how to use the site and check it often for homework assignments,
projects, and grades. If you have a computer, show your child how to use the site to check his
Your Family Center can give you information and support on many issues that affect service
members and their families. And Military OneSource, a free 24/7 service from DoD, available to all
active-duty, Guard, and Reserve members and their families, provides information and referrals
plus face-to-face counseling. Call 1-800-342-9647 or access http://www.MilitaryOneSource.com.
Spouse Tip – Military Spouse Financial Counselor Fellowships
Are you interested in money? Ever thought about becoming a Financial Counselor? Well, help is
on the way.
The Association of Financial Counseling and Planning Education – AFCPE – is working with the
National Military Family Association and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation to provide up
to 200 military spouses each year with funding to pay for the education they need to enter the
financial counseling career field.
Their sponsored Military Spouse Financial Counseling Fellowships cover the cost of completing
association‟s education program and the first two attempts at required examinations. The AFCPE‟s
credential is awarded to all spouses who successfully complete program requirements, including a
practicum with an organization that needs well-trained financial counselors to serve its clientele.
As spouses move from duty station to duty station, many public and private organizations want to
hire knowledgeable, caring, ethical financial counselors, including on and off-base credit unions,
financial aid offices, community housing offices and health and human service organizations.
9. This Week in MC&FP April 22, 2011
Military spouses can help fill these needs and maintain a portable career in one of the fastest
growing sectors in America – financial services. Making the pot doubly sweet, there are career
ladders in this field making it possible for credentialed spouses to accept increasing levels of
responsibility and higher salaries despite their mobile military lifestyle.
Applications for Military Spouse Financial Counselor Fellowships are now being accepted by the
National Military Family Association. So, don‟t miss this opportunity to get started on a rewarding
financial education, career and employment opportunity.
For more information, see http://www.militaryfamily.org/get-info/support-family/spouse-
Read a success story about one of the fellows – see http://www.army.mil/-news/2010/08/24/44138-