Shaping a positive future for our veterans, our military and their families.

Children & Youth

Department of Alaska
Children Youth - 2018-2019
Ann Robinson, Chairman Email: alaska.ann64@gmail.com
Marilyn Mork Co-Chairman Email: mmork64@gmail.com

2018-2019 American Legion Auxiliary Children & Youth

What is this program, and why do we have it?

The Children & Youth program emphasizes protecting, caring for and supporting children and youth, particularly those of veterans and military families. Children & Youth and the 2014-2019 ALA Centennial Strategic Plan: By protecting, caring for, and supporting children and youth, particularly those of veterans and military families, ALA members fulfill our brand promise (Goal 5) of being community leaders and responsible American citizens while caring for military families. In doing so, we are building a future membership base (Goal 1) among our target demographic, military families. In addition to completing our Centennial Strategic Plan, we will emphasize this year on sharing the story of Peter Dankelson, who was awarded a grant from American Legion Children & Youth to promote his books and Choose Kind campaign to children. Peter has a disease known as Goldenhar syndrome.

Goldenhar syndrome (also known as oculo-auriculo-vertebral (OAV)syndrome) is a rare congenital defect characterized by incomplete development of the ear, nose, soft palate, lip and mandible. It is associated with anomalous development of the first branchial arch and second branchial arch. It is with this condition Peter has discovered he has the power to control his life and write his own story. And it is not about OAV syndrome. It is about being a rock star.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

1. Support Children and Youth in community

Here are some things to know when supporting children and youth:

  • Star Spangled Kids – This is an ALA program to educate children and youth on the history of the United States from the aspect of patriotism, Americanism and the U.S. Constitution.
  • Youth Hero Awards/Good Deed Awards – This is a way that the American Legion Auxiliary can recognize youth in our communities who demonstrate good citizenship, either through a brave physical act or a good deed.
  • Josh Dogs – An American Legion Family alliance, GI Josh is a plush dog and accompanying storybook used to help ease separate fears for the military children
  • April is The American Legions Children and Youth Month

On the Member Level

  • Offer to make a “Star Spangled” presentation to your local schools. Invite post members to help learn how their military service was meaningful in defending the U.S. Constitution.
  • Contact local high schools to invite them to encourage their students to use their knowledge of the U.S. Constitution by participating in the American Legion Oratorical Contest
  • Monitor newspapers, TV and neighborhoods for children and youth who have pe4rformed a heroic act of physical valor, such as performing CPR, helping evacuate in the event of a fire, calling 911 for an emergency, etc. Work with your unit to nominate them for a Youth Hero/Good Deed Award.
  • Contact local schools, churches and youth groups to make them aware of the Youth Hero/Good Deed Awards. Make sure to leave unit contact information.
  • Identify children in your community who may be or are facing hospitalization for the first time and who may benefit from a Josh and friends dog and book.

On the Unit Level

  • Create a Unit Citizenship Award for children and youth who have learned the ideals of the U.S. Constitution.
  • Share a constitutional fact each month in the unit newsletter, the newspaper editorial and/or on social media
  • September 17th is Constitution Day (Citizenship Day) – for next year. Host a party that revolves around the U.S. Constitution for children
  • Print and distribute pocket constitutions to school children.
  • Once a child has been identified as a Youth Hero/Good Deed applicant, complete the nomination form.
  • When a Youth Hero/Good Deed award has been processed by national headquarters, contact local media, community school leaders and the child’s parents and plan for a public presentation of the award.
  • Plan a special celebration of children during the month of April in honor of Children and Youth Month.

2. Support Military Children and Youth

Here are some things to know when supporting military and youth

  • Kids of Deployed are Heroes 2 (KDH2) – This is a recognition program for military children who experience extended separation from the military parent or parents.
  • GI Josh Dogs – An American Legion Family alliance, GI Josh is a plush dog and accompanying storybook used to help ease separate fears for the military children
  • April is the Month of the Military Child.
  • Share Peter's story at convention with our Juniors. Let Juniors who have their books with them to share with the convention body.

On the Member Level

  • Volunteer as a Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) camp program.
  • Volunteer at a Family Readiness Group event where KDHS “I’m a Hero 2” buttons/stickers can be distributed.
  • Give a GI Josh to the child of a deployed servicemember.
  • Wear purple on April 15th in honor of Purple Up! For Military Kids day

On the Unit Level

  • Host a dinner, game night, community fair, etc. that will bring military and non-military families together.
  • Host a KDH2 celebration with recognition buttons/stickers to let military kids know we appreciate their sacrifices.
  • Support GI Josh – identify military children who may have a parent or sibling deploying.
  • Plan a special celebration of military children during April in honor of the Month of the Military Child.
  • Encourage members to wear purple on Purple Up! For Military Kids Day (April 15th)

3. Support Veterans’ Children and Youth.

Here are some thing to know when supporting military and youth

  • Some of our homeless veterans also have children living on the streets with them.
  • Klinger, a Story of Honor and Hope – Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is affiliated with the American Legion Family.

On the Member Level

  • Contact your local churches, homeless shelters and food pantries to identify homeless veterans’ children. Ask what their specific needs are, and offer them your services as an ALA member.
  • Contact your local news sources (newspaper, community television, community websites and social media accounts) and town council. Offer to give a presentation about you and your unit’s work for homeless veterans and their children.
  • Contact your voluntary services representatives at the Veterans Affair Medical Center. Offer to work with them to help meet the needs of children of homeless veterans who come to the VAMC.
  • Contact local schools to access their need for supplies and extra cloths for homeless children. Offer to supply items as needed.
  • Volunteer at a TAPS camp program.

On a Unit Level

  • Train members to be a resource for front-line agencies who receive requires for help.
  • Contact local schools to assess their need for supplies and extra clothes for homeless children. Offer to supply items as needed.
  • Contact your post service officer to offer help with the needs of children of veterans who need financial help. (The American Legion – Temporary Finance Assistance).
  • Help raise awareness for the needs of homeless children in your community by sharing unit activities on the unit website, social media pages and newsletters.
  • Purchase the book, Klinger, a Story of Honor and Hope, from TAPS with the companion plush horse for children who are grieving the loss of a military parent or loved one.

REPORTING:

Mid-Year Reports -- Due December 5, 2018. Each Unit Children & Youth Chairman is required to submit a narrative report by December 5, 2017 to the Department Children & Youth Chairman.

Year-End Reports -- Due April 15, 2019. Each Unit Children & Youth Chairman is required to submit a narrative report by April 15, 2018 to the Department Children & Youth Chairman.

There are two parts to your reports. Once is a narrative report and the other is a statistical report.

As part of your narrative report, please include answers to the following questions:

  • How did your units and department promote “Star Spangled Kids,” educating children and youth about the U.S. Constitution from the aspect of patriotism and Americanism?
  • How did your units and department promote the Youth Hero/Good Deed Award?
  • What success stories do you have regarding support for military or homeless veterans’ children?

CHILDREN AND YOUTH AWARDS

Youth Hero

  • Award: Youth Hero Medal and Citation
  • Presented to: Youth under 18 years of age who have performed heroic acts of physical valor; membership in The American Legion Family is not required
  • Materials and guidelines:
    • Complete the Youth Hero and Good Deed Award Nomination
    • Form and mail to your department secretary, who certifies, then mails the application to National Headquarters. (Please, do not mail applications directly to National Headquarters.)
    • The award certificate, signed by the National President and National Children & Youth Chairman, and Youth Hero Award medal will be returned to the Unit or Department to be presented on behalf of the National organization.
    • The Department Children & Youth Chairman should be notified of the award.

Good Deed

  • Award: Citation
  • Presented to: Youth under 18 years of age who have performed specific good deeds and are great examples of community service in action; membership in The American Legion Family is not required
  • Materials and guidelines:
    • Complete the Youth Hero and Good Deed Award Nomination
    • Form and mail to your Department Secretary, who certifies, then mails the application to National Headquarters. (Please, do not mail applications directly to National Headquarters.)
    • The award certificate, signed by the National President and National Children & Youth Chairman, will be returned to the Unit or Department to be presented on behalf of the National organization.
    • The Department Children & Youth Chairman should be notified of the award.

Most Outstanding Unit Children & Youth Program

  • Award: Citation Plaque
  • Presented to: One unit in each division (5)
  • Materials and guidelines:
    • Narrative not to exceed 1,000 words. Include specific examples of how your unit worked the Children & Youth program, including supporting military children and the Star Spangled Kids program.
    • May include pictures, news articles, news releases, etc.

How To Sheets - (click link to download)


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES YOU CAN USE

  1. "I’m a Hero 2” stickers template and instructions can be found on the Children & Youth program page at www.ALAforVeterans.org
  2. The National Children & Youth Committee Facebook group, search “ALA Children and Youth”.
  3. The American Legion Children & Youth programs: www.legion.org/programs.
  4. The American Legion Child Welfare Foundation: www.legion.org/cwf
  5. Josh and Friends (American Legion Family alliance): www.josh andfriends.com
  6. Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (an American Legion Child Welfare Foundation grant recipient for Klinger): www.taps.org

 

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