Building Capacity in Military-Connected Schools


In This Issue:
* New Guidebooks Released 
* Spotlight On: Monica Esqueda
* Ford Foundation Announces Scholarships for San Diego-Area High School Students
* Featured Resource: Blue Star Theatres 
* Headlines and Resources  
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Upcoming Events:


FRE: The Family Readiness Express has another school visit scheduled for this fall. The vehicle will visit 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.


The Rotary Club of Murrieta will hold its annual Military Expo on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 10 a.m to 3 p.m. A variety of organizations offering employment to military family members will be represented at the event. The Expo--also called a resource fair--is being held as part of the Murrieta Field of Honor at Town Square Park, where flags honoring those who serve will be on display from Nov. 6-12.


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Building Capacity Guidebooks Now on the Market; Use in the Field Will be Monitored
     The four guidebooks for educators and parents, published as part of our project, have now been released and are on sale from Teachers College Press at Columbia University. All royalties from the books are donated to military child education causes.
     The books--featured this week on co-published by the Military Child Educational Coalition. They have been endorsed and reviewed by prominent educational leaders and organizations.
     A limited number of books will be distributed for free to members of the Building Capacity Consortium school districts. Educators and parents in the Consortium who receive one of the books will be asked to provide feedback on what they gained from the material and how they use the recommendations. If you are a member of the consortium, please use this online form to request one of the free books.  
     The books provide useful information on the lives of military families and the educational challenges military children face, such as frequent school changes, parental deployments and other stressful periods.
     The titles are: 
     Each book includes practical strategies for creating schools that are more welcoming for military students and parents and supporting learning through multiple transitions.
     The authors also discuss the role education policy can play in easing those transitions for students.
     Our intention is for the teacher, administrator and pupil personnel books to be used by school districts, community organizations working with schools, national education organizations, and county offices of education. In particular, the books were designed for university departments that train professionals to work in schools. If you are a university instructor and would like a desk copy to review, please use this link for your request.
     In addition to highlighting interventions already at work in the schools, we believe the books themselves could be an intervention.
book covers

Lincoln Middle School Students Celebrate Navy's Birthday


     As part of their internship at Lincoln Middle School in Oceanside, San Diego State University school counseling students Laura Romo and Melisa Monteon worked with members of the school's Associated Student Body to honor the U.S. Navy's birthday on Oct. 13.

     The middle school students created a "Happy Birthday U.S. Navy" poster, which Romo and Monteon presented at Naval Base San Diego on Oct. 12.

     "The purpose of the poster was to draw awareness about the local military branches and also thank the servicemen and women for their hard work and dedication," Romo says.


Navy's birthday
Presentation of the birthday poster


Spotlight On: Monica Esqueda


     Monica Esqueda, a doctoral candidate at the USC Rossier School of Education, was one of the Building Capacity team's earliest members.

     Her service to military members and their families, however, began even before she became part of the project. 

     As an undergraduate at the University of California, San Monica Esqueda Diego, Esqueda worked as a college peer advisor in a military-connected high school. She also worked with veterans who transitioned to college after serving in the military as a student affairs practitioner and taught a number of SAT preparation courses. She then worked in admissions prior to attending USC.

     Her expertise includes the pre-college and college experiences of underserved student populations, the impact of national, state, and local education policies on postsecondary access, choice, and success, and graduate student experiences.

     Now in the early stages of her dissertation, she intends to focus on the pre-college experiences and postsecondary decisions--such as serving in the military, working or attending college--of military-connected youth. She is also currently working to develop financial aid and college information/application workshops and professional development opportunities that are tailored to the individual needs of high schools and families in our Consortium schools.

     "I'm passionate about working with military-connected youth, veterans, and families," Esqueda says. "I hope my experiences and work will inform future practice."


Ford Foundation Makes Scholarships Available to San Diego-Area Military Students


Deadline to Apply is October 31!


     The Ford Foundation is making college scholarships available to military students who have a parent serving in the San Diego area. The program is open to students who have a parentOperation Education on active duty or in the National Guard or Reserves.

    The Ford Blue Oval-Operation Education scholarships will be awarded to high school students who submit "outstanding applications reflecting how the sacrifices their families have made have helped shape their goals for the future."

     The scholarship recipients will be honored in a special ceremony to be held Dec. 4 on the U.S.S. Midway.

     More information, including application rules, is available at  Click on "Ford Motor Company Fund Operation Education."

Featured Resource: Blue Star Theatres
     Many military families have been able to enjoy free admission to museums because of the efforts of Blue Star Blue Star Families Families, a non-profit organization that seeks to raise awareness among civilians of the challenges of military life.
     Now the organization has started a new initiative to connect military families with theatre companies across the country.
    In partnership with the Theatre Communications Group and the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families is bringing a variety of theater experiences to military personnel and their families. The MetLife Foundation is also supporting the effort.
     Playwriting classes, community discussions on plays that resonate with military families, free or discounted ticket programs, job opportunities and casting notices are a few of the activities that will be available. 
     La Jolla Playhouse, in San Diego County, is one of 21 theatre companies that have already signed up to participate in the effort.
     For more information, visit Blue Star Families website.
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:
  • Dr. Ron Astor's commentary, "Will Candidates Let Returning Troops Fall off the Fiscal Cliff?" appeared on
  • A second op-ed, Making Universities and Colleges More Military Friendly, also written by Dr. Astor, appeared this month in the Huffington Post.
  • Three of our guidebook authors--Dr. Ron Astor, Linda Jacobson and Dr. Rami Benbenishty--were featured in a Q&A on
  • The California Department of Education is now accepting grant applications for the After School Education and Safety Program. These programs are created through partnerships between schools and local community resources to provide literacy, academic enrichment and safe, constructive alternatives for students in kindergarten through 9th grade. Visit this site for more information.