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45th SW School Liaison office support for your military children during pandemic

Brig. Gen. Doug Schiess, 45th Space Wing commander, and Mrs. Debbie Schiess, Key Spouse mentor, read to children to support literacy in January of 2020. Many online sources are available to continue our child's learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the 45th SW School Liaison Office. (U.S. Air Force photo by Joshua Conti)

Brig. Gen. Doug Schiess, 45th Space Wing commander, and Mrs. Debbie Schiess, Key Spouse mentor, read to children to support literacy in January of 2020. Many online sources are available to continue our child's learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the 45th SW School Liaison Office. (U.S. Air Force photo by Joshua Conti)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

With the current state of the global COVID-19 pandemic, millions of children worldwide have left their, now temporarily-closed, schools to stay in the safety of their homes with their families. Our Airmen and their families have a crucial resource at their fingertips to keep their children utilizing their knowledge over the indefinite break from classes: the 45th Space Wing’s School Liaison.

 

“The main thing I do is help families transition to and from the area with school information and resources for their military children,” said Susan Clark, the School Liaison. “My other responsibilities include assisting with any concerns that come up while they are in local schools and providing families with resources that may be beneficial to their students to be successful; like tutoring information, college readiness and scholarship sources.”

 

“I feel that what I do has a positive impact on families because I am here as a resource and advocate for them,” said Clark. “As a parent and part of the military community for over 15 years, I know the challenges that come with the military lifestyle. I want to help families navigate those changes and challenges and provide the best education for a child possible in our local area.”

 

With the recent introduction of a global pandemic, it’s arguably more important than ever to keep consistent with children’s education and know what resources are available for your military family.

 

“Many of the [educational] resources offered have remained the same but are just being offered in more virtual ways as to respect the physical distancing guidelines,” said Clark. “Much of the information I am sending out revolves around virtual educational opportunities, the importance of self-care/family time and activities to celebrate the Month of the Military Child.”

 

This month falls at such a unique time in history, truly highlighting the resiliency and experiences that our military children go through; therefore we are doing our best to virtually celebrate and recognize these amazing military children. We are sharing that information via emails and social media to reach as many people as possible, since many are working from home. It has proven to be the most effective method for getting parents these resources during this time, said Clark.

 

Not only have many of our own military members transitioned to teleworking to accomplish the mission, but their children have also moved to a digital learning platform for the time being.

 

“This is a time to be armed with reliable information, solid and dependable resources, and access to people who are here to listen and assist with the challenge of educating our students and maintaining as much of the workforce as possible, from home,” said Clark. “Some days that means families need to know the right person to speak to at the school district, and other days they simply need someone to talk to and be there to listen to their struggles. My job is to facilitate that open communication and help families know they are not alone by providing the most consistent service that I possibly can during this time.”

 

I have two children of my own, so I can empathize with other families who are managing the tasks of working from home and monitoring their student’s digital learning experience. I have limited access to some resources, but it has been an adventure in finding creative ways to offer families similar services as I have been able to offer before, said Clark.

 

For questions regarding education and your military child, contact our School Liaison Officer at Susan.clark.8@us.af.mil or follow the Patrick Child and Youth Education Services Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PatrickCYES.SLO/.