MCCG assisted the Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Veteran Office with a first time meeting with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to share the benefits Orange County Department of Education received when they changed their student forms to include a military connection student identifier. After the meeting LAUSD implemented a plan, within 90 days began the roll out to their 1,000 schools for the fall of 2014.
MCCG requested and received a Proclamation from Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti, proclaiming April the Month of the Military Child. Together MCCG, USC Los Angeles Veteran’s Collaborative Family and Children’s Group, USC Building Capacity, Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office hosted a Proclamation ceremony event, proclaiming April the “Month of the Military Child”. This first time event brought Local Government Officials, Educators, Military children & their families and the local community together to acknowledge and honor the children connected to the military.
MCCG created a specially designed webinar for the Orange County Council Boy Scouts of America Scout Leaders. The webinar provides information on a child’s connection to the military- educating on the military culture, lifestyle and how to engage military families in the community. The webinar can been seen on the OCC Boy Scouts of America website. MCCG designed a “Proud to Support Military Kids” patch for Scout leaders and a scout patch. The patch will be available for purchase in 2015, at the OCC Boy Scout store located in Santa Ana, CA
MCCG met with the City of San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer Veteran Office Advocate. The Mayor’s Office has agreed to provide a City Proclamation and participate in an upcoming ceremony in 2015.
MCCG collaborated with the Orange County Veterans Collaborative Families and Children Group to offer a Proclamation ceremony for 2015.
Debbie Nichols spoke at the USC Los Angeles Veterans Collaborative Faith based Group Conference sharing the needs of the children. Faith based Leaders gained knowledge on military culture and ways to better support their military family members in their congregations.
MCCG provided several Salute the Kids ceremonies to the children of those seeking support due to secondary Post Traumatic Stress.
MCCG collaborates with many organizations in order to Advocate, Education, Outreach and Support for the needs of military connected children. Below is a list of those we have engaged and began working with –
- USC CIR Los Angeles Veterans & Families Collaborative
- Orange County Veterans Collaborative (OCDE)
- Alliant University
- USC CIR School of Social Work Intern program
- State of California Governor’s Interagency Veteran Collaborative
- Military Connect Kids
- LA City Supervisor – Mike Antonovich – Debra Mendelson
- Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Veterans Office
- Caring Chaplains conference
- Professional Tutors of America
- Orange County Department of Education – self identifying students, created new student enrollment and emergency forms for 2013
- Engaged – Saugus School district
- Engaged – Los Angeles Unified School District
Working on many fronts here is a list of our accomplishments:
MCCG assisted in coordinating with OCDE and USC School of Social Work Intern program. A USC Social work intern student (experienced on military life) was assigned to the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) to support military children in the 28 school districts and 606 schools.
The White House has recognized the month of April as Military Child month. MCCG wanted to spread the word about April/Military Child month. MCCG engaged the OCDE to create an approved program toolkit for schools. This program assists School Principals to offer acknowledgement to their military connected students. MCCG created an electronic toolkit called “SALUTE the KIDS”. The toolkit designed for school Principals to create a complete school assembly. Toolkit includes a Principal announcement, letter to parent, Principal speech, and a “Recognition certificate”, acknowledging the military connected children supporting our Country. The toolkit OCDE approved and distributed to their 606 schools. The “SALUTE the KIDS” electronic toolkit is available on the MCCG website at no cost. Click here for a copy.
Debbie Nichols, Founder & CEO of MCCG was a Guest speaker at a first voluntary school assembly in Orange County acknowledging Military Child month. MCCG’s “SALUTE the KIDS” Recognition certificates were presented by Laguna Niguel School Principal Michelle Moore acknowledged 3 military students. Approximately 600 students and their parents/guardians attended this assembly.
MCCG created an Awareness video, providing an inside look of challenges on the Homefront for military connected children. The MCCG Awareness video is available in two versions (-). One version is for public knowledge and gaining support, and requests financial support, available on MCCG website and YouTube. Version two is for the Education sector and used for presentations.
MCCG gathers community resources/services for children and families. Lists are created by professional social workers, organizations and community collaboratives and shared on the MCCG website. Quarterly updates are provided.
MCCG began a monthly newsletter distributed electronically to all our members signing up on MCCG’s website Join Us page.
MCCG expanded into State of Georgia, with Qwynn Salazer as a Regional Representative. Qwynn has engaged Georgia State National Guard, State Behavioral Health and State of Georgia School Counselors Association conference with 200 attendees. Qwynn engaged 12 National Guard Youth Leaders.
In October, the Orange County Register newspaper published an article about Debbie Nichols founding a nonprofit for military connected children, and the need for schools to identify military connected children. Register newspaper has a circulation of 280,322 to subscribers.
MCCG engaged the children of Wives of War organization, by attending and supporting a day event at the Music Museum in Carlsbad, CA. MCCG provided a Salute the Kids ceremony, thanking each child for silently serving our Country and presented a personalized MCCG “Recognition certificate”, a gift card and “Deployed Kids” book to each child.
Debbie Nichols attended as a panel expert guest at a Women of War Conference presented by 360Vets in October in San Marcos, CA. Sharing the challenges military connected children face during their loved one’s transitions. Sharing ways of how community organizations can acknowledge and recognize the military connected children.
On November 11, Veterans Day, Debbie Nichols was the Veterans’ Day Guest speaker for the City of Placentia ceremony honoring their city’s military and their families. She shared her personal journey of her daughter’s deployment and reintegration. How she began helping other military families facing the same challenges. After attending the White House Faith Based Community Leaders’ briefing, she then formed a nonprofit for military connected children.
MCCG is working continuously, encouraging the State California and their agencies about the importance of having the appropriate forms for military connected children. In hopes of preventing these children from being mislabeled in school and misdiagnosed in our healthcare system.
Military Childrens Collaborative Group (MCCG) created a Facebook page. MCCG posts educational information sharing community events to support our military children and their families.