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Lee Risper, life skills trainer, Marine Corps family team building, attends the ‘Helping military children discover their strength, potential, aspirations, resourcefulness and confidence institute’ at the Frontline Restaurant, Aug. 11, 2015. More than 50 educators and parents attended the class to better understand how to assist military children cope with issues such as permanent change of station and deployments. (Official Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Levi Schultz/Released)

Photo by Pfc. Levi Schultz

MCEC hosts SPARC institute

11 Aug 2015 | Pfc. Levi Schultz Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

“The purpose of the training today is to better educate the individuals who are working with our military children,” said Thomas Cruz, Combat Center school liaison. “It’s important to get all three groups; educators, base staff and parents, together to learn how to better meet the children’s needs.”

The class was hosted by the Military Child Education Coalition, an organization dedicated to supporting military children. Representatives travel nationwide and hold a class in Twentynine Palms once every three years.

“The MCEC program’s mission is to improve the lives of military children,” Cruz said. “Their motto is to make sure our military children are heard and have the resources that they need. They also help us understand what those needs are to ensure that they can be successful and resilient children.”

During the class, attendees learned about the struggles military children face and how to enable them to become thriving individuals.

“I think making it aware to the entire community benefits everybody,” said Lee Risper, life skills trainer, Marine Corps Family Team Building, Marine Corps Community Services. “It’s important we understand how military children respond and to be able to interact with them to make sure they are able to adapt to their environment.”

The intent is that classes like this will better inform both the educators and parents who are responsible for influencing today’s youth.

“These classes are very important to make sure adults can relate to the children coming up today and make that connection,” Risper said. “It helps us to relate to them in ways that we can understand them and they can understand us.”

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms