Alaska

Alaska Operation Military Kids program is purple! What is purple? Purple is the term used when referring to all branches of the military. Alaska Operation Military Kids program seeks to reach geographically dispersed famlies of all branches of the military across the entire state of Alaska.

Current programs available through Alaska Operation Military Kids program team members are RSG! (Ready, Set, Go!). This training can be tailored to fit the needs of your organization based on topics of interest. RSG! covers the ins and outs of Operation Military Kids as well as provide tools for agencies and volunteer groups working with military families that are impacted by deployment. RSG! training is also a great time to get an overview of other Operation Military Kids programs, like the MTLs (mobile tech labs ~ coming soon to Alaska!), the Hero Pack program, and SOMK (Speak Out for Military Kids). Contact Candi Dierenfield at 907-377-4130 to learn more about scheduling an RSG! training for your agency or volunteer group.

Let’s “speak” about SOMK (Speak Out for Military Kids). SOMK is a program for creating speakers bureaus of teens. Military teen or not, teens with any connection to the military… be it their best friend is a military youth, or their science teacher was deployed… can benefit from learning how to speak to audiences about how they were and are impacted by military deployments and create awareness about this issue. 

The Hero Pack program is a program for youth that have a parent deployed or will be deploying and are geographically dispersed from an installation (living more than 25 miles from an installation or live in a remote area of Alaska, National Guard or Reserve). The Hero Pack is a bag that is filled with fun by our state Alaska Operation Military Kids team: 4-H, American Legion, National Guard Child & Youth Services, Army Child &Youth Services, Boys and Girls Clubs of Ameria, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Air Force Youth Programs. Youth serving organizations are encouraged to request a “Hero Pack Build” where Operation Military Kids will coordinate delivery of materials to stuff into the Hero Packs and Hero Packs for the organization to put together that can then be delivered to the youth with a deployed parent. To request a Hero Pack, or if you organization is interested in sponsoring a Hero Pack program in your area please contact Candi Dierenfield at 907-377-4130.

—————————————————————————————————————-

Featured State Parnter: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska

www.bigbrothersbigsistersalaska.org

 Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska (BBBS) would like to offer the opportunity to become a volunteer mentor as a Big for youth in Alaska.  BBBS has programs in several locations across Alaska. The website has the contact information for these sites as well as more information about the program.   There are some requirements for volunteers to complete before they begin a life changing experience for them as well as the Little coming into their lives.  The requirements include completing an application, participating in an interview with the enrollment and match specialist, successful completion of a personal background check and able to make a commitment to a Little for at least one year. 

 Volunteers don’t need to change their lives to include a Little, the basis of this program is “sharing” your lives with a youth.  The match process will carefully screen the Big volunteers and the Little to make sure there are common interests and personal values so that the match will be successful and rewarding for both.  BBBS is designed as a one to one mentoring program, however, we do accommodate couples who would like to be Bigs with one Little.

 Volunteer Bigs have a choice of several programs.  There is the most commonly known program which is Community Based.  This program requires the volunteer to be at least 18 years of age, can commit to be a Big for one year AND meet with your Little at least 2-4 times a month.  You also need your own transportation with proof of insurance. 

The School-Based Program is another choice for Bigs.  The requirements of this program are:  You are at least a high school freshman, affiliated with the military or University, an area resident or an elder.  There is a one year commitment required and that your can spend one hour a week with a Little during the day usually at their school.  This program follows the school calendar year, with the idea that the match could meet over the summer as well as continue into the next school year.

The Amachi Program is a program designed to work with Littles that have parents that are incarcerated in jail facilities.  This program requires four hours per month and one year commitment.  This is similar to the Community Based program just primarily focused on a particular group of youth.

If individual youth mentoring doesn’t fit into your life at the moment, there are other opportunities to assist the Big Brothers Big Sisters programs to be successful.  There are two main fundraising events, Bowl for Kids Sake annually in the spring and Dream Big Breakfast annually in the fall.  The programs are always looking for donations of tickets to events for Bigs and Littles to attend, and donations of equipment i.e. WII, computers, movies, which enrich the monthly Big/Little activities provided by the local BBBS offices.

 Big Brothers Big Sisters is a program that produces these results:

“Littles” active in BBBS are:        

             46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs

            27% less likely to begin using alcohol

            52% less likely to skip school

            37% less likely to skip class

            More confident in their school work

            Better able to relate to parents and peers

Statistics provided by Public/Private Ventures (P/PV) 2007

Contact your local  Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska program to become a volunteer or to make a donation.  www.bigbrothersbigsistersalaska.org  has contact information.   If you have any questions contact Eileen Cummings, 452-8110.