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Military families have a unique set of challenges, since their lives often involve frequent moves, deployments, retirements, and sometimes even injuries. For this reason, in 2010, Tinker Air Force Base became the first K12 location to offer an enrichment program for military-affiliated families enrolled in Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy (OVCA).

In order to identify qualified students, the Co-op Coordinator, Christine Nichols makes information available at a variety of marketing events, social media platforms, and base agencies. She also regularly contacts OVCA Teachers and relies heavily upon their recommendations.

Currently, three OVCA Staff Members offer additional on-base support to students and families. They provide opportunities for OVCA students to socialize, complete assignments, PE time, tutoring with on-site teachers, local outings, community service projects, and special events like science and art shows.

As a course instructor, I have witnessed students’ enthusiasm for the Co-op program firsthand. Last year, one particular student left my class twice a week to attend the Co-op; she truly enjoyed receiving the additional in-person assistance, as well as the social time with other OVCA students. These opportunities are valuable resources, helping our students develop a strong resilience in their family lives.

Since military families make up less than 1% of the U.S. population, K12 feels it is important for students to have regular opportunities to meet other families that are in similar, dynamic military situations. Their participation in the programs is optional, and is designed to add an additional layer of support for students and their families. Since 2010, K12 has expanded military co-ops to many other schools across the United States, to reach this unique group of families in a more direct and personal way.

 

About The Author

Beth Watt

Beth Watt teaches sixth grade math at Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy (OVCA). Prior to joining OVCA in 2012, she taught science and math in the Stillwater, Tulsa, and Putnam City school districts. She holds bachelor’s degrees in zoology and secondary science education, and a master’s degree in K-12 education. Beth and her husband live near Stillwater, Oklahoma, with their two boxer dogs. She loves cooking, disc golfing, teaching Zumba, and hiking outdoors.

One Response

  1. Kristi Gifford

    It is also an incredible support system for the parents / learning coaches. Frequent moves takes you from your family and friends as a support system. Add schooling at home, and it’s easy to become isolated and overwhelmed. The other adults understand this problem along with unique to military spouses.
    Military children also face a fear that only other military children face. Will my parent return from (sometimes the place is secret)? Will they die over there?
    Thanks for providing a safe place for military families to come together over OVCA!

    Reply

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