A consortium of educators and military personnel received a national award recently for their work to support children whose parents are in active service.
The Building Capacity to Create Highly Supportive Military-Connected School Districts Consortium includes local colleges, military installations, and school districts. It received the 2014 Pete Taylor Partnership and Excellence Award July 29 from the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) at its national training seminar in Washington D.C.
The award encourages and applauds the outstanding partnerships formed between military installations and school districts that serve military children.
"MCEC proudly salutes the remarkable difference that these schools and military installations are making in the lives of military children," said Dr. Mary Keller, executive director of MCEC. "By partnering in unique and innovative ways, these military and education leaders follow the example set by General Taylor and remind us once again of the impact that we as a community can have on each military child."
Award winners are selected from schools and military installations around the world by MCEC, a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing the transition and educational issues affecting the highly mobile military child.
The seven San Diego County school districts in the consortium are Bonsall Unified School District, Chula Vista Elementary School District, Escondido Union School District, Escondido Union High School District, Fallbrook Union School District, Fallbrook Union High School District, and Oceanside Unified School District. The consortium also includes University of Southern California, Navy Region Southwest, Marine Camp Installations West, Bar-Ilan University, San Diego State University, UC Los Angeles, UC San Diego, Teachers College Press, and the Temecula Valley Unified School District.
With a grant from the Department of Defense, the USC School of Social Work guided these school districts in developing a military social work program to build resilience for students and families affected by wartime deployments and transitions. Sharing the best practices and evidence-based strategies helped create ongoing awareness of the benefits of such work and resulted in ongoing support for military children and their families.
Photo: Representing the consortium are Chula Vista Superintendent Dr. Francisco Escobedo and Bonsall Superintendent Dr. Justin Cunningham - along with the University of Southern California's Dr. Ron Astor, Diana Pineda, and Monica Esqueda - receiving the award from the Pentagon's Director of the Joint Staff Lt. General David L. Goldfein and Dr. Mary Keller, executive director of the Military Child Education Coalition.