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How Aiken County schools are demonstrating commitment to military kids

Wagener-Salley High School employees dressed in purple in observation of the Month of the...
Wagener-Salley High School employees dressed in purple in observation of the Month of the Military Child.(WRDW)
Published: Apr. 23, 2021 at 10:47 AM EDT
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AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - The Aiken County School District has been involved in several events to recognize the needs of military children.

On April 7, Gov. Henry McMaster proclaimed tis the Month of the Military Child in the Palmetto State.

A military-connected child can expect to move six to nine times from kindergarten through their high school graduation, with about 200,000 students transitioning to a new school in any given year. America’s military-connected children experience academic and social-emotional challenges as they relocate to new schools due to a parent’s change in duty station.

The Aiken County district was recognized during the 2019-20 school year as the first in the state to be honored with a Purple Star School District designation.

“Due to the pandemic our plans to celebrate the Month of the Military Child were canceled last school year, so this will be our first year celebrating it as a school district initiative,” said Sondra Thomas, the district’s military community liaison. “We are so excited for the month-long celebration and all the activities that are planned.”

The school district’s two main Month of the Military Child events in April include a collaborative, walk-a-thon and a “Purple Up” day.

Each school has been challenged to walk 589 miles during the month to represent the 589 military-connected students in our district. The total number of miles walked will be recorded and sent to the Military Child Education Coalition. 

According to Thomas, “the walk-a-thon will allow everyone in the school district and the Aiken County community to walk a mile or more to visibly support our military-connected students.”

On April 16, students and faculty members were encouraged to dress in purple, which is a combination of Air Force blue, Army green, Navy blue, Marine red, and Coast Guard blue, to demonstrate our support for military families.

Individual schools will celebrate the Month of the Military Child in their own unique ways, but all activities will serve to highlight the importance of military-connected students.

Aiken County Superintendent King Laurence says it is important for military-connected students and families to feel welcomed and supported no matter where they attend school in Aiken County.

“Military families make huge sacrifices to our community and that includes the children,” stated Superintendent Laurence. “It is important for us to remind everyone just how special these families are. It is also important for us to help remove any potential obstacles they may face and just do anything and everything we can do to help them succeed.”

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