April 14, 2016

Lunch recognizes children of military families

Each year the month of April is set aside to recognize the unique needs, contributions and

To recognize military children, staff, students and community members are asked to Purple Up! and wear purple April 15.

sacrifices of children of active military families. This year, in addition to activities that will take place within individual schools, the Sparta Area School District and Tomah School District also sponsored a luncheon to celebrate these students.

State Superintendent Tony Evers; the Wisconsin Commissioner for the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children Shelley Joan Weiss; Fort McCoy representatives; and others joined military families at the Month of the Military Child lunch program Thursday, April 14, at McCoy’s Community Center on Fort McCoy.

Maplewood Elementary third grade student Logan Eilers was among the speakers.
“Being a military child can be tough sometimes. It’s especially tough when your mom, dad, or family member is being deployed. When someone is being deployed you can feel stressed, sad, and maybe some happiness because you are proud of them,” Eilers said.

“But being a military child isn’t always bad, because sometimes you get to do fun things with other military families. You also get to meet new people and go to new places. It can be interesting meeting new people that are going through the same experiences as you.”

According to Sparta District Administrator John Hendricks, “Children of military families are valued contributors to the diverse experiences and backgrounds of our student body. They are examples of resilience and strength.”

Logan Eilers, Maplewood Elementary student, speaks at the Month of the Military Child Lunch at Fort McCoy.
“Our military families are respected and valued members of our school community. The perspectives and ideas of military children from their involvement in different educational
systems and the involvement of their parents who have traveled extensively assists us in

providing new and better opportunities for all of our students. We respect the challenges our
military children have faced and value the ideas they suggest,” said Tomah District Administrator Cindy Zahrte.

The Sparta Area School District has a strong presence on the Wisconsin’s Commission overseeing the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, including Hendricks, Lt. Col John Blaha, and Fort McCoy School Liaison Officer Becky Walley.

The Sparta Area School District has more than 160 children of military families in its schools. The Tomah Area School District has approximately 130 children of active military parents in its schools.