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New School, New Friends, Same Challenges

09.04.2015, by Susan Conolly

For many military-connected students this isn’t just the start of another school year.  It is the start of yet another new school.

Back to School.  That phrase is everywhere this time of year and it’s loaded with meanings.  Back to School can mean:

  • Time to stock up on school supplies
  • Savings on all things school related
  • The return of busy schedules and homework

But for countless military-connected students it means yet another new school, new rules, new friends, new everythingMilitary kids move an average of three times more often than their civilian peers.  That can mean 6-9 different schools between kindergarten and graduation.  Those numbers are the norm, not the exception.

Even for children that seem to acclimate well, starting over multiple times can be stressful.  Whether your child is a new or returning student, you can help them succeed and thrive this year.

There’s lots of articles offering creative tips on being ready to start the school year.  Ideas such as:  adjusting to the new bedtime, planning for mornings, creative lunch ideas, attending school functions, and meeting the teacher, just to name a few.

All of those tips are great and will help your child acclimate.  But just like us, kids worry about fitting in.  They wonder if they will have any one to sit with at lunch, what are the routines of the school, what are the other students wearing?  Just like you and me, they don’t want to show up and stick out like a sore thumb.

For many military-connected students this is a common occurrence.  Being the perpetual new kid is not easy.  The Military Child Education Coalition recognizes this and is a champion for military-connected students everywhere.

The MCEC’s Student 2 Student Programs were created to welcome incoming students to their new school, as well as, prepare departing students for their next school.  Student 2 Student encourages 100% acceptance as it brings together military and civilian students.

S2S is student-centered and student-led while being under the close supervision of a teacher or school counselor.  New students are welcomed into their new school and have an instant set of friends showing them the ropes and making life a little less lonesome.

The initial Student 2 Student high school program was so successful it paved the way for the creation of Junior Student 2 Student (JS2S) and Elementary Student 2 Student (ES2S).  Being the new kid is a challenge whether students are in elementary, middle or high school.  Now there is a S2S program for every level of school.

Are you interested in finding out which schools have the S2S program?  Or maybe you want to start a program at your school?  That would be great!  This is where you start:




The MCEC can offer this program and many others because of the generous support of our partners and donors.  Would you please consider donating today?  Your gift will allow us to continue our support of military kids around the world.  I send you a sincere, “Thank you” for your consideration.

We Back Military Kids.  You Can, Too!

P.S.  Send in your First Day of School photos to the MCEC!  Follow this link.  We’d love to share them on our Facebook page.  And don’t worry, if you’re like me you’ll be so busy the first day you’ll forget to take the picture.  That’s okay, just send us a second day picture – I promise not to tell! 

Please follow us throughout the month of September for weekly ideas and ways MCEC programs can help you.

Best wishes, ~Amy

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