Building Capacity in Military-Connected Schools


In This Issue:
* Learning Together Peer-Tutoring Program
* Spotlight On: Bonnie Campbell 
* Resource Posters Point Parents Toward Military Organizations
* Headlines and Resources  
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Upcoming Events:


FOCUS Training: 

Sept 21 and 28, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the USC San Diego Academic Center (SDAC), 16870 West Bernardo Drive, Suite 200


Threat Assessment: J. Kevin Cameron, an expert on traumatic stress, will return for a two-day workshop, Oct. 5-6, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m, also at SDAC.


To register for either workshop, send an email to Diana Pineda at


FRE: The Family Readiness Express returns this fall for more visits to schools. The vehicle will visit Vail Elementary School in Temecula on Oct. 1-2, Jefferson Middle School in Oceanside on Oct. 11-12, and Wolf Canyon Elementary in Chula Vista on Dec. 17-18.

The hours for each of the visits will be from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Peer Tutoring Program Supports Military Students in Fallbrook
     When one child teaches a skill or concept to another child, the experience benefits both of them. That's the idea behind Learning Together, a peer-teaching intervention being implemented this year with middle school students at San Onofre School on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
     Based on a program used in Israel for almost 30 years, Learning Together trains students to tutor struggling peers who are two grade levels below them. But instead of being the top achievers in their class, the tutors are typically those who are below proficient and might even exhibit behavior problems in the classroom--those that Assistant Principal Christine Kay described as "frequent flyers" to the office. San Onofre decided to use the math version of the program. There is also one that focuses on reading skills.
Learning Together 
     "It was ok with us if the students were a little squirrely," says Christine Kay, the assistant principal at San Onofre. "We wanted students who might need some leadership opportunities."

Spotlight On: Bonnie Campbell 


     As the wife of an Air Force veteran, Bonnie Campbell knows well the challenges of raising children on military bases around the country and overseas.

     So she has been the perfect addition to the staff at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bonnie CampbellSan Diego County and Operation Bigs, its military mentoring program. She joined the program in 2008 as a "match support specialist" for Operation Bigs. Now as program director, Campbell has seen the program grow from serving military children at four sites on Camp Pendleton to serving all five elementary schools on the base as well as four additional sites in San Diego. The program also serves children of active-duty sailors and Marines at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Naval Base San Diego, and Naval Base Coronado.

     Campbell has over 25 years of experience in human services, including providing counseling to children with emotional and behavioral problems and their parents and working as a victim advocate in the Georgia State Court system. She also worked as a family outreach worker at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. 

    As a member of the steering committee for this month's California Engagement, Campbell was instrumental in recruiting other community leaders to be involved in the gathering.

     "I am excited about being a part of an initiative that is bringing together community leaders to create an action plan for enhancing our support services for military-connected children," she says. "These children and their families have faced unprecedented challenges during this last decade of combat and they deserve all the support and services that we can give them."


Resource Displays Point Parents Toward Community and Military Organizations


     Here's one strategy for keeping military families informed of the organizations and programs available in their community. Nita Martinez, a MSW student at San Diego State University, who interned at Liberty Elementary School last year, created this resource poster to hang in the front lobby of the Chula Vista school.

     This is a great communication tool to have at the beginning of the school year--both for returning military families and new families entering the school.

military resource poster 

Featured Resource: SchoolQuest College Planners

   The Military Child Education Coalition's SchoolQuMCECest site is offering two new college planning services for high school  students preparing to make the transition to postsecondary education. Method Test Prep offers SAT and ACT preparation, and College Option Services offers tools such as a student planner, scholarship links and information on financial aid.
Headlines and Resources

     We regularly feature stories, reports and resources related to military children on our websiteCheck back often for new additions, such as these:
     The Rand Corporation has released its evaluation of Operation Purple, a free summer camp program for youth with a deployed parent. The study incorporated youth and parent survey data and found some positive effects from camp participation, particularly in communicating about feelings.
     An article in NewsOK discussed how Oklahoma's new "Empowerment Scholarship Account" program could benefit military children. Such an account allows families who qualify to withdraw their children from public schools and apply 90 percent of their per-pupil funding toward private school tuition or other education expenses.