Operation COM is an ongoing peer play group for children of the military (COM), designed to support young children through the life cycle of deployment and to help their parents connect with other military families. Because the Buffalo, NY, area does not have a military installation, military families live throughout the community—and often they are the only one in their neighborhood or school. Operation COM was developed to give families a chance to get to know one another and to provide a venue for children to share their experiences of military family life and support one another. Learn more by reading Operation COM’s program profile.
North Carolina National Guard (NC NG) is one of the pilot sites that helped develop the Activity Guide for military families released in our last e-newsletter and has been using activities from the Guide since 2006. Read our interview with Alice Dean, State Youth Coordinator, to learn how NC NG has adapted the activities over time, which ones are surefire favorites, and about the plans that NC NG has to roll out these activities statewide.
To take another look at the Activity Guide,
Research and Resilience, a project within ZERO TO THREE’s Coming Together Around Military Families™, is working to promote research that reflects the needs and realities of today’s military families and their infants and toddlers. An interdisciplinary workgroup has met twice to discuss and begin to shape the types of research questions that would generate rich data on the circumstances of military life that impact early childhood health and development. To learn more about this project, visit the Research and Resilience Web page at ZERO TO THREE.
Hope and Healing is a resource guide designed for early childhood professionals that provides practical strategies for creating environments that provide a support and buffer for children coping with overwhelming stress. Young children are disproportionately represented among families with a parent who has deployed overseas. Many of these children have faced prolonged separations from their parents or close family members. In addition, some face the additional stressor of loss of a parent or loss of the parent’s health or emotional well-being through combat-related injury or stress. Most of these children are able to cope with and adjust to these stressors with the help of a loving family and supportive community. However, for some, the stressors are too great and the child’s coping capacities are inadequate. At this point, it is essential that other adults and systems be prepared to help the child and family.
Hope and Healing provides practical suggestions about how to talk with children and families about sensitive issues and how to structure child care environments to support children who are facing significant stressors in their lives.
Read an excerpt from Hope and Healing.
Browse Hope and Healing in the ZERO TO THREE bookstore.