Month of the Military Child

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Service member returning home and being greeted by family members with a hug.


Throughout the Nation and Commonwealth, educators and communities will take time in April to recognize the contributions of children whose parents serve in the military. Frequent moves, family separations through deployments, and reintegration following deployments can make school, home, and community-life challenging for military children. Yet, even in such circumstances, these students continually demonstrate resilience and courage.

The VDOE encourages schools to use this collection of resource materials and ideas in planning their own Month of the Military Child activities throughout the month of April. 

Customized Certificate of Recognition

Service members are often recognized with certificates and medals for their outstanding service, and now children will be able to hang their own Certificate of Recognition (PDF) along with those of their parents. VDOE has created a Certificate of Recognition which schools can download, customize with the name of a military student, print, and present to military-connected students at a Month of the Military Child assembly, luncheon, or other recognition event. The signatures on the certificate represent the important partnership between our military leaders and schools.

“Wall of Honor” Recognition

Schools are encouraged to display a “Wall of Honor” as a visual depiction of the school’s military student population. These bulletin boards typically display pictures of military-connected students, or different color graphics (based on military branch) representing the number of military students in the school.

Build Military Connected Student Awareness

Schools are encouraged to provide opportunities for military-connected children and peers who support them to share their stories. Allow a military-connected student or a member of the peer transition support program to share how being a military-connected student has shaped them. Peer support members can talk about how they support military-connected children and recruit new members. Lastly, there are a number of famous military-connected individuals. Provide time for students to highlight the accomplishments of these individuals. Examples include, Mrs. Nora McDonald, Shaquille O’Neal, Kris Kristofferson, Christina Aguilera, Reese Witherspoon, Tia and Tamera Mowry, Mia Hamm, Wiz Khalifa, Jesscia Alba, and Michelle Rodriguez to name a few.

Invite Service Member Parents to a Recognition Event

Schools are encouraged to set time aside to recognize parents who serve in the military. Student across your campus would benefit from witnessing the affirmation shared to these service members by the school community. Whether it’s a simple “parent coffee” or more orchestrated affair, both would deliver the same message; that the community values the contributions of these service members and their families.  If you need help in inviting a military Command representative to your event, please contact a Military School Liaison Officer (Word) or Dan Dunham at

“Purple Up! For Military Kids” Day - Wednesday, April 17, 2024

“Purple Up! For Military Kids” is a day in April set aside for everyone around the Nation to show their support for military-connected students. VDOE encourages the entire school community – teachers, principals, students, parents, bus drivers, etc. – to wear purple on April 17, 2024, to show support for our military students and appreciation for their strength and sacrifices. Purple represents the blending of the colors of the five branches of our armed forces. Here in Virginia, we are proud to be home to Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, Space Force, and National Guard and Reserve families. VDOE has provided the flyer below to display in your school for the Purple Up! Celebration

Purple Up Flyer

“Share Your Story” Project

Whether a military dependent yourself, classmate, friend, or neighbor of a military student, we are all impacted by the military community in Virginia. VDOE encourages teachers to incorporate Month of the Military Child recognition in their instruction by having students share their military-connection story through the visual arts, creative writing, musical composition, poetry, etc.

#PurpleUpVirginiaMilitary parent and middle school student walking together arm in arm.

VDOE encourages schools to share their Purple Up! and Month of the Military Child photos by using the hashtag #PurpleUpVirginia on social media. VDOE will be reposting your efforts on our various social media platforms.

Photos and/or descriptions of your activities can also be sent to Dan Dunham, military family education liaison, at, for sharing with the Virginia Council on the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.

Additional Resources

In addition to the materials provided above, the Military Child Education Coalition and the Military Children's Compact Commision national office provide numerous resources through their Month of the Military Child Toolkits.