Students experience 'boot camp' during the 'Month of the Military Child'
April is the International Month of the Military Child.
It’s a time to honor the children of all members of the U.S. Armed Forces across the world.
Here in San Diego, active duty and retired military members helped run a field day boot camp for students at Hancock Elementary on Friday. Activities included hurdles, hula hoops, cones, jumping rope and agility ladders.
The school near Tierrasanta has almost 700 children, and 98% of them have at least one active military parent. The campus is in the heart of the largest military family housing community in the county.
The boot camp was led by crew members from the USS Pearl Harbor. Many of them grew up as military kids, themselves.
Lt. j.g. Emily Stoops Jaynes worked with a group of second-grade students who reminded her of her own childhood.
“All them are saying ‘hey are you in the military?' and telling me their parents dress up the same way for work. (They mention) how they’ve been gone a lot and their parents are always on work trips.”
Laurie Beeler is the school enrollment clerk and a military spouse and mother.
"Our parents choose to be in the military, our kiddos don’t. So, we take a month to celebrate who they are. They’re unique. They’re resilient," Beeler said.
Hancock Elementary is designated as a California community school in the San Diego Unified School District. Community schools go beyond educational support for students, offering resources outside of school to help families.
At Hancock that has included flu vaccine clinics with Balboa Navy Hospital, providing American Red Cross mental health counselors as needed by families and food and diaper collection drives.