First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden launched a new campaign to increase public support for U.S. service members and their families. In conjunction with the campaign's kick-off, AACTE and the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) have announced "Operation Educate the Educators," a partnership to prepare educators and develop school cultures that are more supportive of children in military families.
MCEC is a non-profit organization that works to identify and increase awareness of challenges for military-connected children and implement programs to provide quality education opportunities for them. Together, AACTE and MCEC will seek to enlist 100 colleges and universities to partner with PK-12 schools on the effort by the end of the 2011-2012 academic year. They will then work with participating institutions to infuse into pre-service educator preparation tools that meet the needs of military-connected children.
At the launch event for Mrs. Obama's and Dr. Biden's "Joining Forces" initiative, Dr. Biden said:
"When I was in Iraq last year, I heard a story that has stuck with me ever since. An officer told me about a little girl in his daughter's class who broke into tears when she heard the "Ave Maria" sung during a holiday program. As the teacher comforted her, the little girl explained that the song had been played at her father's funeral. Her father had been killed in Iraq.
As a teacher, I know that all teachers would want to understand that little girl's experience. So I shared that story with a group of educators, and I am so pleased to share the good news today that the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education has partnered with the Military Child Education Coalition to promote training for future teachers. Together, they hope to teach 10,000 future educators how to best serve their military-connected students across the country."
"There are many obstacles that children of military families encounter, and those can affect their classroom performance," said Sharon P. Robinson, president and CEO of AACTE. "AACTE is committed to helping our members to incorporate the knowledge and tools into their programs that will produce educators who know how to reach and support these students effectively."
Read the official press release here.
For more information about participating in Operation Educate the Educators, contact