VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — April is designated Month of the Military Child in the Department of Defense and there are events happening in Hampton Roads to celebrate and support military children.
The Department of Defense has celebrated Month of the Military Child every April since 1986.
There are more than 1.6 million military children who face unique challenges due to the service of their parents.
Many military families move, on average, every two to three years, forcing children to change schools and lose touch with friends.
The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at The Up Center in Virginia Beach is inviting military families and supporters to get involved.
The clinic is hosting a MilFam Virtual Improv event, featuring a free interactive improv class for the entire family on Saturday.
The Cohen Veterans Network has also partnered with Sesame Workshop to develop children's programming and has compiled resources for supporting military families.
That work to support the unique needs of military children continues year round.
"Our clinicians are especially trained in caring for military children. All of our clinicians have been trained in military cultural competency, and we use creative means to engage our children whether it's through play therapy or art therapy. We provide services via telehealth and we also have a very specific play therapy room for our younger children to explore utilizing art materials, puppets, blocks, and a variety of different toys," lead clinician Sarah Pitzen told News 3 anchor Todd Corillo.
The Defense Department is also encouraging people to show their support for military kids by posting a selfie while wearing purple and post it using the hashtag #purpleup.
The Cohen Veterans Network is also encouraging families and supporters to use #MyMilitaryKid to share photos, stories, and resources.