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For Children and Youth – Benefits

Military OneSource’s mission is to connect you to your best MilLife — and that includes helping you to obtain the best education for your children and set up young adults for success in early employment opportunities and in their transition into adulthood. No matter what stage your child is in, check out the wide range of education and employment benefits to help your child or teen thrive in school and beyond.

Your school liaison can assist with your child’s education needs.

School liaisons are your primary point of contact for all school-related matters pre-K through grade 12. Whether it’s helping your child make a smooth school transition, navigating special needs programs or ensuring your teen is on track with high school graduation requirements, let your installation school liaison help with all your education concerns.

Education benefits

Whether you’re getting your child ready for pre-K education or you’re preparing your teen for high school graduation, the Defense Department offers numerous education benefits to help your children thrive every step of the way.

As a service member, you and your family have an abundance of resources available to support and expand your child’s education to prepare your child for the future. From school liaison support and career readiness resources to education and testing preparation resources through the MWR Digital Library or special needs consultations, Military OneSource has you covered.

School liaisons are located at each installation and are the main contact for military families, local school systems and installation command for school-related matters pre-K through grade 12. If you’re looking for help with education questions, your installation school liaison can connect you with the support you need.

School liaisons help with transition support before and after a PCS and assist military-connected children with Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children compliance. School liaisons can provide information on school districts and boundaries, assist with transfer of credits and class registration, help locate after-school and extracurricular programs, set up tutoring and youth sponsorship referrals, and help with college, career and military readiness. They can also connect you to your installation Exceptional Family Member Program and help you navigate your new school district’s special education program.                              

School liaison support is free of charge and open to all DOD identification card holders, educators who service military-connected students and community partners involved with pre-K-12 education. Learn more about school liaisons, or contact your local school liaison for help with all your educational needs.

The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children is an agreement among states to help alleviate some of the school transition problems that happen with frequent moves. All 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity, or DODEA, participate to make sure your student graduates on time. The compact helps out in four major areas:

  • Enrollment: The compact helps with education records, immunizations, and kindergarten and first grade entrance.
  • Placement and attendance: The compact ensures that your children won’t miss appropriate placement in required classes, advanced placement, special education services while awaiting evaluation at their new school and even absences related to deployments.
  • Eligibility: The compact makes a smoother transition when it comes to your children’s eligibility whether it’s initial enrollment or participation in extracurricular activities.
  • Graduation: The compact ensures that a move won’t affect your high schooler’s graduation.

If you have questions about the Interstate Compact and how it applies to your child, reach out to your local school liaison for assistance.

The DOD MWR Libraries is a great resource to assist your child or teen with educational needs and make learning fun through its expansive, personalized and often interactive resources that reach across all levels of learning. You can connect your student to live online help and tutors, access eLearning tutorials and reading materials, and use practice exams to help prepare your teen for postsecondary education. You’ll find educational resources for all ages, plus plenty of content for hobbies and special interests, including:

  • Primary education resources — Your child can access learning resources including NoveList® K-8 Plus, which helps younger readers find books that are just right for their reading level and interests; Gale in Context: Elementary, which introduces elementary students to database searching with resources featuring age-appropriate, curriculum-related content — helpful for independent school projects; and BookFlix® (from Scholastic), a digital literacy resource that pairs classic video storybooks with related nonfiction titles to reinforce early reading skills and cultivates key reading skills, supports reluctant readers and English language learners, and builds fluency, vocabulary and reading comprehension.
  • Secondary education resources — Numerous resources for your high school student include encyclopedia articles, journals and periodicals, multimedia, primary sources, games and other learning resources that are curriculum aligned and support student research and classroom teaching. Specific programs include Gale in Context: Middle School, a reference resource for grades 6-12 by national and state curriculum standards; Britannica® Annals of American History, offering a rich and varied history of the United States; and Britannica® School Edition, which offers safe, up-to-date and age-appropriate information for primary, middle and high school students.
  • Home/leisure content available to children and teens — Help your children access a variety of content that can be explored and enjoyed during downtime. Special interest material includes ArtistWorks for Libraries, which provides patrons with world-class instruction through self-paced video lessons from Grammy Award–winning music and artistic professionals; ComicsPlus® Library Edition, which offers access to all major genres of more than 20,000 comics and graphic novels from more than 100 publishers; and The Great Courses Library Collection, which offers access to hundreds of courses taught by internationally recognized university faculty members from leading institutions of higher learning across the globe.
  • DOD MWR Summer Reading Program — Students who keep reading in the summer score higher on achievement tests and score better in academic classes than nonreaders. Children who read for pleasure take these skills beyond the classroom. Encourage reading for the entire family, bridge the summer learning gap, and inspire literacy and lifelong learning by enrolling your children in the DOD MWR Summer Reading Program.

Extenuating circumstances sometimes create challenges for students completing their secondary education. The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program is available to both military-connected teens as well as any teen needing help getting back on track to graduate from high school. The program provides teenagers a chance to teach themselves self-discipline, leadership and responsibility as they work toward a high school diploma or equivalency.

The voluntary 5 ½-month residential program is followed by a year-long mentorship. The program teaches applicable skills including academic excellence, life-coping skills, job skills, leadership and responsible citizenship.

Managing the care and services for a family member with special needs is more manageable with the right support. The goal of the Exceptional Family Member Program is to help your military family member with special needs thrive in military life. EFMP is more than just one program or connection point — it’s the work of three components: identification and enrollment, assignment coordination and family support. The resources, tools and services that are available to support your journey are organized as part of the EFMP Resources, Options and Consultations, or EFMP ROC. Find out how EFMP works across these three parts to ensure the best support and experience for you and your family member. Find installation EFMP family support near you.

Special needs consultants through Military OneSource can point you to benefits that are available for families with special needs. Your consultant can help connect you with information, resources, services and more, including:

The mission of the Military Child Education Coalition is to ensure quality educational opportunities for all military- and veteran-connected children affected by mobility, transition and family separation. They offer a variety of programs, such as:

Parents can learn about DOD education benefits and parenting resources that are available to help you support your children’s education.

Defense Department financial aid for schools with military-connected students

You can help your child’s school get more money through both the DOD and Department of Education’s Impact Aid for Military Connected School Districts by completing the annual survey for your school. This survey, which your child brings home at the beginning of each school year, enables schools to count their federally-connected students.

The DOD Impact Aid Program is a supplement to the Federal Impact Aid Program and compensates local educational agencies for loss of local revenue due to tax-exempt federal property as well as increased expenditures due to the presence of federally-connected children. Learn more about how the Federal Impact Aid Program can help your child’s school.

  • The Impact Aid Supplemental Program provides extra money to school districts that have an average daily attendance of at least 20% military-connected students.
  • The Impact Aid for Children With Severe Disabilities Program is an additional congressional allotment for school districts with at least two military students with severe disabilities. Schools receive reimbursement for expenses they incurred during the year.

The Department of Defense Education Activity, or DODEA, also gives grants to school districts with school-age military children, such as:

  • A competitive grant program that works to boost student performance, provide professional growth for educators and add technology to programs in schools facing a growing number of military children
  • An invitational grant program that aims to increase student success and ease the challenges military children face because of their parents’ service

Our Military Kids grants

  • Our Military Kids offers grants to National Guard and reserve families during deployments. The grants are to help with children’s activities when families have trouble accessing support services from military installations.
  • Our Military Kids also offers grants to children of injured military members to pay for participation in sports, fine arts and academic tutoring.

Other schooling benefits

  • The Non-Department of Defense Schools Program is available to military-connected families in OCONUS locations that do not have access to a DODEA school. The program offers reimbursement for alternative schooling options, such as private and boarding schools and home-school choices. Visit the website to review eligibility.
  • The MWR Library Universal Class offers more than 500 self-paced, instructor-led online courses, including computers and technology, personal finance and professional development and is a resources for parents who choose home schooling.

Child and youth programs

Your child’s education can be enhanced by participation in a wide range of DOD child and youth programs — from instructional classes to sports and the arts. Every branch of the military service has its own children and youth program, offering affordable instructional and educational programs as well as flexible child care. The programs provide age-appropriate activities in a structured setting on military installations. Explore the expansive programs available to your youth and teens. From fitness, music and game rooms to open recreation and instructional classes for cooking and STEM, military youth will find something they love.

Youth employment, college preparation and career readiness

Part of your teen’s education is preparing for life after high school. Military OneSource can connect you to valuable information to prepare your teen for the future, including employment essentials, college and trade school preparation, and more:

Supporting your child’s education requires time, commitment and the right information. Military OneSource offers education consultants to assist you with questions. These one-on-one sessions are free and confidential. The consultants can provide you with referrals to in-home tutors and tutoring centers in your area, as well as public and private school information. Call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647, view for overseas calling options or schedule a live chat 24/7.

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