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St. Mary's Public Schools Honor Military Children
Leonardtown MD - 4/12/2013
By Dick Myers
In honor of the large number of children of military personnel in St. Mary’s County Public Schools, everyone is being encouraged to wear purple in the schools on Friday, April 12. Of the 17,600 students in the county, more than 7,000 have at least one parent in the military. That puts the county in the top 25 in the nation.
April is Month of the Military Child, a special celebration that is a legacy of former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger. According to information released at Wednesday’s school board meeting, “the month was established “to underscore the important role children can play in the Armed Forces’ community. Our elementary schools are recognizing and celebrating the military connected student population and their contributions and sacrifices.”
Each year 100 students from around the country are chosen as finalists for National Military Child of the Year, 20 each for the five services. This year Sierra Jordan, a fifth grade student at Evergreen Elementary School, was one of the 20 children chosen from Navy personnel. Her father and mother, Joshua and Nicole, appeared at the ceremony along with Evergreen Principal Kim Summers and Dawn Simpson, the base’s school liaison.
Jordan said she has moved several times in the course of the schooling and has attended nine different schools. Yet in her first month at Evergreen, School Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano pointed out she was chosen by the school as student of the month.
In addition to excelling in school Sierra also raised $1,600 for the Make a Wish Foundation and visits the nursing home. Her teacher reported that it was rare to find a student with such “compassion and manners.”
According to Dr. Martirano, of the 1.2 million military school-age children nationwide, 700,000 of them had at least one parent deployed since 2001.
This week is also the “Week of the Young Child” and that was also marked at Wednesday’s school board meeting. The p[purpose of the week is “to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.”
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