Building Capacity in Military-Connected Schools

 May                                                                                                            2013
BC Logo-Month of the Military Child

In This Issue:
* Wong Takes Leading Role in Preventing School Violence
* SDSU Highlights Work of Students in Military-Connected Schools
*Anti-Bullying Recommendations Presented at AERA
* Spotlight On: Diane Lillibridge 
*San Onofre Students 'Step Up' to Stop Bullying
* Featured Resource: Camp Mariposa
* Headlines and Resources  
Upcoming Events:

     Military Social Work Awareness Day: Join the California Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW-CA) at Petco Park (Padres vs. Dodgers) in San Diego June 22 at 4:15 p.m. to celebrate active duty military personnel, veterans and their families.
     Consortium school districts will receive a block of free tickets to distribute. (More information will be following on the free tickets.) Additional tickets are available at a reduced cost by clicking on this link.
     Important: The game is expected to sell out quickly.
     NASW is honoring the work of Building Capacity by recognizing educators, local organizations, the military and universities that support military children. There will be an "on the field" recognition of Building Capacity Consortium partners and your hard work. (This is all of you!) Education and community resources for military families and public schools will be available at special kiosks in the ballpark.
     Please come to celebrate our collective work together and military families at the game.
     The event is being organized by NASW-CA and San Diego-area schools of social work, including the University of Southern California San Diego Academic Center, California State University San Marcos, Point Loma Nazarene University and San Diego State University.
     For more information and updates, visit the Military Social Work Awareness Day page on Facebook.

Family Readiness Express: 
May 23, Oceanside High School, 1 Pirates Cove Way, Oceanside, 92054. 7 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. This mobile Fleet and Family Support Center provides transition assistance, information on children and youth programs, deployment support and other services for military families.

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Building Capacity Co-PI Helps to Shape Nation's Efforts to Prevent Tragedy
     Dr. Marleen Wong, a clinical professor and the associate dean for field education in the USC School of Social Work, a co-principal investigator for the Building Capacity project. She is also one of the leading experts in the nation on trauma recovery in Marleen Wong schools and was one of the first consultants brought in to work with school officials and families following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
     Wong--who has developed mental health recovery and disaster training programs both in the U.S. and internationally--was asked to speak at a series of meetings beginning just days after the shooting, one of which included 850 law enforcement officials and educators from across the state.
     "It was very daunting because it was such a high-profile event," she says.
     Now Wong is helping to guide federal officials as they seek to create emergency management plans that will prevent gun violence at schools, universities and houses of worship and spell out the roles and responsibilities each person plays in carrying out these plans.
     She took part in a "learning roundtable discussion" with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and his senior leadership team in mid-January. And then in late February, she participated in a Washington D.C. meeting involving Duncan, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and other experts from law enforcement, mental health and emergency management.
     Often sitting on panels with police chiefs and FBI officials, Wong says she's fortunate to "be at the table" and has focused many of her comments on programs that she believes should not have been cut, such as the COPS (Community-Oriented Policing) in Schools program, which trained officers how to work in schools, and the Safe and Drug-Free Schools program, which funded drug and violence-prevention efforts.
     "I want to see money," Wong says. "These need to be refunded."
     As a member of the national advisory council for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Wong encourages young men and women to go into school social work and would like to see tuition refunds or other incentives to encourage students to enter the field.
     In addition to overseeing the field experiences of USC's MSW students, Wong has also shared her expertise with school counselors and administrators in the Building Capacity consortium. During the second year of the grant, she participated in a series of regional workshops on school safety and psychological first aid.

SDSU Students Showcase Work Benefitting Military Children


Showcasing Work with MIlitary-Connected Students  

     San Diego State University's (SDSU) school social work, counseling and psychology students displayed what they're doing to support military children at a recent gathering on SDSU's campus.

     Over 100 people attended "Showcasing Work with Military-Connected Students," which featured a slide show of the programs and activities the interns are implementing in schools, poster presentations, a raffle for a $50 SDSU bookstore gift card and even a DJ.

Major George Zuniga, an executive officer of the SDSU Army ROTC program, an assistant professor of Military Science and an instructor on military history, was the special guest speaker. 

     "In speaking with the students, they gave detailed information about the work they did at each school location," said Mariana Venegas, a public health nurse in Chula Vista, a graduate of SDSU and a military spouse. "I particularly enjoyed the posters that provided insight on the outcomes and effectiveness of the services they provided."


Laura Romo
SDSU student Laura Romo shares her poster on creating a "school-wide military culture."


Anti-Bullying Recommendations Released
     At this year's annual meeting of the American Prevention of Bullying Educational Research Association, the National Task Force on Bullying, co-chaired by Building Capacity leader Dr. Ron Astor, released a series of 11 briefs on research and policy recommendations. One of the task force's primary recommendations is to stop using the term bullying and to instead use the term victimization. USA Today covered the presentation at the conference.

Spotlight On: Diane Lillibridge

     Diane Lillibridge serves as the assistant principal at Bonsall Elementary School and works in close partnership with the Building Capacity project.
      Diane Lillibridge She began her career in education by implementing one of the first learning disabilities programs for special education students in the Chicago suburbs. She has taught general and special education math and science at the middle and high school levels and has been present at historical events in education, such as President Bush signing the No Child Left Behind law in Hamilton, Ohio.
     "I was sitting front and center while my students were on stage surrounding the president," she recalls.
     In California, she has worked as a special education administrator, a middle school dean of students and an assistant principal of a K-8 school.
     The Building Capacity project, she says, contributes to students' academic, emotional, social and physical development.
     "The opportunity to build children's confidence, higher self-esteem, and inner self-worth become possible when developing relationships with effective programs," she says. "The USC Building Capacity program fits Bonsall School District like a glove, serving our children who need emotional, social, and character support."
San Onofre Students 'Step Up' to Stop Bullying

anti-bullying club
     San Onofre School students are taking action to raise awareness about bullying in their school and stop it from happening. A group of three middle school students at the K-8 school organized the club, which they call "Step Up So Others Don't Get Stepped On." In the twice-a-month meetings students talk about their experiences with being bullied and discuss ways to prevent it. The students plan their own activities, such as making cards with "stop bullying" messages, pictured above.
     "These kids are truly amazing and have generated at least 30 students or more to participate," says Jackie Aguilar," the USC MSW intern at the school. "Overall, this club has been a great experience for the school and it truly is amazing to see so many kids coming together to discuss this important issue."
Featured Resource: Camp Mariposa

     Camp Mariposa, a project of the Moyer Foundation, serves children ages 9-12 who have been affected by substance abuse in their families. Camp Mariposa The free weekend camp for up to 24 participants is designed to give children a safe place to talk about the difficult circumstances they face at home and to give them the tools they need to break the cycle of addiction. 
     Currently operating in Sarasota, Fla., South Bend, Ind., Philadelphia and Seattle, the camp will add a
San Diego site this summer. 
     For more information, visit the Moyer Foundation's website.
Headlines and Resources
     We regularly feature stories, reports and resources related to military children on our website. Check back often for new additions, such as these:
  • The Nevada Appeal highlighted a bill in the Nevada legislature that would would allow the state education system to identify children of military families who are students so the state can identify challenges facing this unique demographic group and develop policies that can meet their needs.
  • A Chicago-area school district honored students from military families for their strength and resilience during last month's Month of the Military Child. The event was covered in the Highland Park News.