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.