THURSDAY, AUGUST 28, 2014 
       The American Legion's Family Support Network is ready to help families of support personnel and troops involved in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Call 1-800-504-4098       Check out Army Reserve Family Programs (ARFP.ORG)       My Army Life Too -- The website of choice for Army Families       "Support Soldiers and their Families: Click here to find out how you can make a contribution to support America's Army"       Check out the "Military Kids Connect"       Check Out the "Coming Home Project"       Check Out "Operation Free Ride" (Horse Program)       Tutoring Help For Military Families       2014 Military Kids Camps
 
Skip Navigation Links
  STATE | PENNSYLVANIA

NEWS
PHOTO

CALENDAR

On Post

Off Post
 OVERVIEW                           
  EVENTS & INFO
FREE COLLEGE PLANNING WORKSHOP
9/20/2014 8:30 AM-9/20/2014 2:30 PM

2014 SCIENCE VIDEO COMPETITION
7/1/2014 12:00 AM-8/31/2014 9:00 PM

CAMP MILITARY KID STRONG
8/17/2014 3:00 PM-8/23/2014 11:00 AM

PA OMK ANNUAL REPORTS

OMK VIDEO PODCAST: "MILITARY DEPLOYMENT IS HARD FOR EVERYONE".

SKATEBOARD CLUB

 

 

 

   

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania  

 

  We celebrate the many Military Children in Pennsylvania!  

We appreciate your sacrifice and applaud your courage!

  

 

 Primary Contacts for Operation: Military Kids in Pennsylvania

Susan Smith:  PA OMKProject Coordinator and Military Liaison at sjs52@psu.edu or 814-865-2264 

 

Check Out the 2012 PA Annual Report

 

 

Our Pennsylvania Heroes 

 Since September 11, 2001, over 30,000 Pennsylvania National Guard members have been deployed in support of the Global War on Terrorism.  Add to that the number of PA reservists and active duty personnel, and the number grows even higher.  An estimated 32,000 + children in Pennsylvania have at least one parent currently serving in either the National Guard, Reserve, or Active Duty component of the military. In Pennsylvania, Operation:  Military Kids strives to provide support to these children through various programs during this difficult time. We recognize the sacrifices these children make and want to commend them for their courage.

 

 Team  Pennsylvania

OMK PA has a state team with representatives from OMK’s national partners as well as representatives from the following statewide agencies:  Penn State Extension/4-H, PA National Guard Child & Youth Program, PA Army Reserve Child & Youth Services, Carlisle Barracks Child & Youth Services, 171st Air Refueling Wing of the Air National Guard, Harrisburg Army Recruiting Battalion, Family Programs, Penn State Army Cadet Command,  Susquehanna DLA,  Easter Seals of Western & Central Pennsylvania, Luthercare,  Pennsylvania Department of Education,  Center for Schools & Communities/Mission Homefront,  911th Airlift Wing, Pittsburgh International Airport Air Reserve Station, PAAmerican Red Cross, &  American Legion Auxiliary

The PA OMK Team is made up of passionate and selfless community partners all striving to improve the quality of life for PA Military Youth.  We would like to say “THANK YOU” to our community partners for all you do to show Military Youth how appreciative you are for their sacrifices.

In addition to our state team, we have established OMK Regional Teams in areas of Pennsylvania with a high military child and youth population.  We currently have teams established in the following areas:  Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia. 
 
OMK Activities Abound!

The PA OMK Team has had great success following the Army Model for “developing the whole child.”    Our goal has been a simple one-to create opportunities for children to learn and develop lifelong healthy habits and acquire the skills needed to achieve a balanced lifestyle while connecting with other children who are sharing the same experiences. We have engaged the children in a myriad of fun physical activities.  Our week long residential and weekend family camps focus has been for the children and families to “connect” with other military through recreation and physical activity.  PA Military Kids have gone tubing, kayaking, rock climbing, zip lining, swimming, had archery instruction and a variety of other traditional and non -traditional classes designed to build and develop  leadership skills, team building , goal setting and RESILIENCY so our kids can get the very most out of their “military life” experience.

PA OMK has fostered a community spirit in many ways across the Commonwealth.  In Pittsburgh our SOMK Team worked with Radio Disney  and KDKA to promote education in the community for understanding the military lifestyle.  In Centre County “Teens Networked with Teens” to spread the word about the challenges of being a military Child.  At the “Salute to the Military Child Family Fun Fair” we had nearly 40 community organizations  participate in support of military families during the Month of the Military Child kick off!  A special thanks to Penn State's Recreation,Parks and Tourism Class 356 for their support of the Fall Family Camp and the Salute to the Military Child Family Fun Fair!

The importance of  hobbies and the artistic  outlet was addressed across the Commonwealth as a positive force for combating the stress of deployment and military life.  The American Legion Auxiliary once again supported our Eyes of the Military Child Arts Contest and we nearly doubled the entrants from last year!  We have partnered with Art Expression and Rania’s Catering of Pittsburgh and offered a “Cooking with Rania” class for our military youth.   

The PA OMK Team is planning a “Back to School Night”  in the Commonwealth and is a strong supporter of the Tutor.com  program offered to  DoD dependants getting the word out to eligible families at every opportunity.  We have conducted several “Character Building” Camps and classes which were well attended.   We are blessed to have Temple University Family Center on our team as they provide treatment and referral for psycho-social services for anyone who is or was attached to any branch of the military and their family members.  OMK PA Harrisburg Team partnered with Temple to show a movie portraying the impact of soldier deployment on their families and its potential as a public health crisis and held a question and answer period following the movie.

 OMK PA program offers the following programs:

 Ready, Set, Go! Training (RSG!)

  •  Trained individuals from around the state conduct trainings to schools, community organizations, support agencies, etc. in order to increase awareness and support that children of deployed military face. 

Speak Out Military Kids (SOMK)

  •  New members are being recruited for the SOMK program in Pennsylvania.  These youth, both military and non-military, receive training on public speaking, media equipment, press releases/written announcements, etc.  In addition to having the opportunity to “speak out” on behalf of military families they also gain life-long skills and build self-confidence. 

Mobil Technology Lab (MTL)            

  •  Portable computer labs used to facilitate connection between deployed family members and children and youth left behind. Labs contain laptops, printer/scanner, wireless router, digital camera, camcorder, and various hardware and software.  Please contact OMK in Pennsylvania‘s Central Office or a state partner for more information on loan procedures for MTL.

Youth & Family Activities

  •  PA OMK is working hard to provide children and families with special programs and events throughout the year.  Some special events have included an OMK sponsored Fun Run, a sleepover at the Carnegie Science Center for military families, participation at Military Appreciation Day at Kennywood Amusement Park, Family Tubing in the Poconos and participation at a Welcome Home event through the Butler VA. 

 

The Operation: Military Kids program in Pennsylvania is managed through Penn State Extension.  If you would like to be on a mailing list to be kept apprised of upcoming OMK activities as well as other special programs of which OMK becomes aware, please contact Susan Smith, OMK Project Coordinator, at the above contact information and provide her with your mailing address, email address and ages of children. 


 CONTACTS:
      Susan Smith
      115 AG Sciences and Industries Building
      University Park, Pennsylvania 16802

      Phone: 814-865-2264
      Fax: 814-863-5858
      Email: sjs52@psu.edu
      Website: http://extension.psu.edu/
  NATIONAL PARTNERS
Designed by HRTec, Inc., © 2006-2012