Back to school can be intimidating for students from military families

Wednesday, August 07, 2019
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

The White House estimates the unemployment rate for military spouses in 2017 was 16% - nearly twice the national rate. (Source: WRDW/WAGT)

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) – It's the first day of school in Columbia County. For military kids starting a new school after a change of station – it can be both exciting and a little overwhelming.

Back to school can be fun and exciting, but for kids whose parents are deployed or have to move from school to school, it can also be stressful.

Riverside Elementary School was one of six schools in the entire state to be selected for the military flagship award, but this year Columbia County schools are looking to take the programs and initiatives here and expand them.

"We're military dependent and we were when we were young, so we know what it's like to move every two and three years and start a new school,” said Columbia County Schools Assistant Superintendent Jeff Carney said.

Carney, a former military brat, knows what it feels like to have parents deployed or to move schools every few years, and so do 5,000 students in Columbia County.

"We get kids literally from all over the world now,” Carney said. “Last week we were getting transcripts converted over from languages in India."

These 10 schools are staffed with Military Family Life Counselors and the hope is to expand to every school in the county.

The schools also offers small group counseling to students whose parents are deployed overseas. Because even if you're new to the area, you're not alone.

One of the things the state recognized was the involvement of Fort Gordon. Throughout the year you'll see volunteers in uniform helping out the students.

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