Alabama became an OMK State in 2008, and seeks to offer services and support to the youth of our deployed and returning Military Personnel.
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FY12 4-H Military Partnerships Annual Report
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Create awareness and understanding of the issues and stresses faced by military families and youth while building community partnerships to increase capacity for youth and families.
Key Elements of our Program Include:
Speak Out for Military Kids (SOMK)
The Speak Out for Military Kids program allows military and civilian youth ages 13-18 to be nominated by an adult or self-nominated with references. To schedule an SOMK training with a group (prefer groups of 15-20) of teens in your area, give us a call! An ADULT advisor is required to provide local support and coordination with the group. Parental support is essential! Nominees attend a two day training course to become ambassadors for the program. During this training, participants develop public speaking/presentation skills, leadership and citizenship skills as they explore issues of deployment, methods of coping and avenues to share their own viewpoints and pointers with others. Thus, allowing the to "SPEAK OUT" for military kids in their respective areas of the state.
Community businesses, individuals, civic, church, school and other groups are encouraged to partner with Alabama OMK by organizing and conducting a "Hero Pack" initiative in their local community! Hero Packs are backpacks filled with an assortment of items which are made available to military youth who have a parent or sibling in their immediate family household deployed.
Hero Packs may be requested by FRG leaders for eligible military youth. Youth may not receive more than one Hero Pack regardless of the number ot times the family member is deployed. Distribution is intended for geographically dispersed school age military youth who have a deployed immediate family member. This is our way of saying "Thank you" to the military child for their courage and in recognition of all the special opportunities missed while their loved one is deployed.
Ready, Set, Go - RSG! Trainings
These regional and community based "community briefings" help participants better understand military culture, the issues face by military families due to the various stages of deployment, and some of the many free resources and support services available to support military families and communities. Participants are engaged in discussion sessions and other learning techniques. Furthermore, RSG! Trainings provide an opportunity for building community campacity as networks are formed to provide individual, group and community support services to our military families, especially those in geographically dispersed areas around the state!
Mobile Tech Lab (MTL) & Tech Discovery Kits
The MTL and Tech Discovery Kits are available at events for military kids to stay connected to their deployed loved ones. The lab and kits can be used in a variety of ways, including the creation of greeting cards, digital pictures, and video messages. OMK Partners may check the lab out for use in support publicized activities for military youth and families. Specific inventory checkout and accountability guidelines must be followed by OMK partners who desire to use the lab and kits.
Alabama Military 4-H
Youth are invited to join a 4-H club in their community or on their installation! Youth who are eight years old and in third grade through 18 may join. 4-H opportunities are available on Alabama installations including: Redstone Arsenal, Anniston Depot, Ft. Rucker, Maxwell AFB & Gunter Annex. Making new friends and getting involved in 4-H project areas such as food & nutrition, health, gardening, photography, fine arts, community service/leadership, dog training and other project areas are key to success in 4-H
NOTE: Projects vary at each installation. Activities may include club meetings; educational workshops, camps, county or project fairs, leadership conferences and many opportunties for recognition.
Alabama OMK State Team
Alabama OMK partners include the Alabama National Guard, The American Legion, Alabama 4-H, Alabama Childcare and Resource Network, the School of Nursing for the University of Alabama, Army Reserve Child and Youth Services, the State of Alabama Board of Education, the Office of the Governor of Alabama, Military One Source and the Military Child Education Coalition.
For more information for support or assitance or to become a community partner contact:
OMK Coordinator & 4-H Military Liaison