First Presenter's Institution

University of Georgia

Second Presenter's Institution

University of Georgia

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Sloane

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Family & Community

Relevance

The development of resiliency and life skills for military youth (high-risk population) is critical for their social and emotional success. Additionally, the overall health and wellness military families are concerns. While the service member is deployed or separated from the family from extended periods of time, he/she needs to focus on the mission and not be concerned with issues their dependents are facing. Building these skills in military youth is critical for the overall success of the service member. While this workshop specifically cites a lesson plan developed for military-connected youth, the ideas of sharing feelings and emotions can be used with a wide variety of audiences, including non-military youth.

Brief Program Description

Since the events of Sept 11, 2001, military service members have experienced frequent war-zone deployments, causing issues of separation, anxiety, and stress in military youth. As part of a 4-H project, a high school student and military teen developed and implemented an activity that uses art to allow military-connected children to express their feelings in a safe, inclusive environment. As someone who has experienced the effects of having a parent in the military, the 4-H student worked with a licensed counselor to develop age-appropriate art activities that are engaging and fun and allow military children to share their experiences. Using established learning models and curriculum development tools, participants will learn more about this lesson and how to implement and evaluate with military-connected audience. Although the lesson was specifically designed for military audiences, it appropriate and can be implemented with non-military youth audiences.

Summary

Since the events of Sept 11, 2001, military service members have experienced frequent long-term deployments to active war zones, causing issues of family separation and anxiety. Orthner and Rose (2005) report that 37% of Army spouses state that their children seriously worry about what could happen to their deployed parent and that school issues and depression occur in about 20% of their children. As part of a 4-H Leadership in Action Project, a high-school 4-H member developed and implemented an activity that uses art to allow military-connected children to express their feelings in a safe, inclusive environment. As someone who has experienced the effects of having a parent in the military, she worked with a licensed counselor to develop age-appropriate art activities that are engaging and fun and allow military children to share their experiences. The 4-H student worked alongside her 4-H Agent to develop the lesson plan and teach the content to multiple groups of military-connected youth. The 4-H Agent used Hendricks’ (1998) “Developing Youth Curriculum Using the Targeting Life Skills Model” and Ginsburg and Jablow’s (2011) “Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots and Wings,” to assist the 4-H’er in the development of these materials. The lesson plan includes background information along with a hands-on activity where participants create tie-dye pillow cases and use a comic strip about pillows to share their feelings associated with having a family member in the military. One of the many successes of this activity stems from the content being developed and shared by a high-school age military student. Due to her age, she can easily connect with the elementary and middle school age audience members.

The 4-H Agent has collaborated with Army Child, Youth, and School Services (CYSS) for the past five years to positive youth development experiences for military children and youth. Leadership, citizenship, and life skills developed during programming can build resiliency and assist these young people during times of transition and turmoil. During this session, participants will learn how the the 4-H member developed, implemented, and evaluated the lesson plan. Additionally, opportunities for replication with other agencies, education, and military installations will be provided. While this is based upon 4-H program planning models, it can easily replicated to meet the needs of any youth (including those without parents in the military) involved in any youth organization! The session will include discussion of recent studies conducted about military families, hands-on activities, and question/answer session. See how proper engagement in after-school programming provides military youth with positive life skill development.

Evidence

Using Ginsburg and Jablow’s (2011) seven crucial “C’s” - competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping, and control – the 4-H Agent has designed, implemented, and evaluated numerous youth programming for military audiences. Through formal evaluations of youth and interviews with CYSS staff, evidence suggests that youth are feel more prepared to deal with issues because they gain confidence while participating in 4-H programming.

For the specific Tie-Dye for Troops Project, the 4-H member has been recognized for her work as the district (39 county) winner in Georgia in 2016, earning a $500 grant to continue her work. Additionally, the lesson plan has been shared at the state and national level with the 4-H/Military Partnership leaders. She is continuing this project for the upcoming school year.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Kasey Bozeman is the 4-H Youth Development Extension Agent in Liberty County. She holds a M.S. in Environmental Education from Nova Southeastern University and a B.S. in Environmental Science from Piedmont College. She is currently earning an Ed.D. in Curriculum Studies from Georgia Southern University. Kasey is responsible for coordinating, developing, implementing, and evaluating the 4-H program in Liberty County. She directs 800+ 4-H youth with project work, leadership, and citizenship activities, camps, conferences and public relations, and manages 50 volunteers. Her specific areas of interest include working with military families and teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities. She has presented information about military children and youth at regional and national conferences and was recognized at the 2014 National 4-H/Military Partnership Award recipient.

Sophia Rodriguez is an 11th grader attending Armstrong State University as a dual-enrollment student. Rodriguez’s father served in the United States Army, and she has direct experience of dealing with some of the challenges of being a military-connected child. Rodriguez enjoys various forms of artwork, including drawing and painting. Combining her passion for art with her experiences of being a military teen, Rodriguez developed and implemented an arts-based lesson with military children, allowing them to express themselves. This activity was part of her 4-H Leadership in Action project, where she was a district (39 county) winner in 2016, earning a $500 grant to continue her work. Rodriguez currently serves as the Georgia 4-H State Vice President.

Keyword Descriptors

Military, Creativity, After-school, Art, Peer to peer teaching

Presentation Year

2017

Start Date

3-7-2017 10:15 AM

End Date

3-7-2017 11:30 AM

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Mar 7th, 10:15 AM Mar 7th, 11:30 AM

Using Color, Comics, and Creativity to Cultivate Comfort for Military-Connected Kids

Sloane

Since the events of Sept 11, 2001, military service members have experienced frequent war-zone deployments, causing issues of separation, anxiety, and stress in military youth. As part of a 4-H project, a high school student and military teen developed and implemented an activity that uses art to allow military-connected children to express their feelings in a safe, inclusive environment. As someone who has experienced the effects of having a parent in the military, the 4-H student worked with a licensed counselor to develop age-appropriate art activities that are engaging and fun and allow military children to share their experiences. Using established learning models and curriculum development tools, participants will learn more about this lesson and how to implement and evaluate with military-connected audience. Although the lesson was specifically designed for military audiences, it appropriate and can be implemented with non-military youth audiences.