Earlier this month, the Wayne County Board of Education proclaimed April as “Month of the Military Child” for Wayne County Public Schools and that Wayne County Public Schools (WCPS) will “Purple Up!” in honor of military connected students on Friday, April 21. Teachers, staff, and community members are encouraged to wear purple as a visible gesture of support for students with a parent serving in our nation’s military.
Local Purple Up! organizers state that military-connected students experience unique challenges and life transitions, especially when it comes to moving regularly or having a parent deployed for several months.
“Wayne County Public Schools is a North Carolina Purple Star District and our schools work throughout the year to support approximately 2,000 military-connected students,” states Heather Winstead, WCPS District Military Liaison. “Purple Up! is a wonderful way to help bring awareness of the sacrifices military-connected students make, and to bring people together in a show of unity to let our students and families know that Wayne County supports them.“
On April 21, numerous Purple Up! Activities will be occurring across the school district and Wayne County. Some examples include:
- The downtown Goldsboro fountain will be turned purple.
- Month of the Military Child Proclamations were approved by WCPS Board of Education, Goldsboro City Council, and Wayne County Commissioners.
- Yard and window signs are being displayed at schools and businesses across the community.
- Some businesses will offer incentives or feature purple products.
- The WCPS website homepage, with the support of its web-hosting provider, LINQ, will be changed from its traditional teal and green colors to purple.
- Heather Winstead (WCPS District Military Liaison) and Cristy Barnes-Williams (SJAFB School Liaison Officer) will be the purple prize patrol on Friday and will distribute door prizes to some lucky participants who are wearing purple.
- SJAFB is having a “Chalk Your Military Walk” event and other activities throughout the month to show support for military children.
- WCPS social media will highlight photos of Purple Up! Activities throughout the day.
- Schools, businesses and community members are encouraged to post hashtags at #purpleupwayne, #milkids, #MOMC
- On April 21st, beginning at 9:15 am, there will be a “Purple Up Day Walking Stroll” downtown Goldsboro meeting the center street fountain. All are welcome to attend.
Each year, WCPS joins other school districts across the state of North Carolina, which is home to the 4th largest military population in the country, in recognizing April as Month of the Military Child. In addition to Purple Up, WCPS schools will hold various activities during the month of April to recognize and appreciate military connected students for their service and sacrifice.
The Purple Up! initiative is supported by the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC), a global non-profit organization focused on ensuring quality educational opportunities for all military children affected by mobility, family separation, and transition. It is worth noting that WCPS has been a member of MCEC since 2004. Information from Military Children Education Coalition:
- On average, military connected students move 6-9 times during their K-12 years.
- Military-connected children number almost 4 million, 75% of whom are school-age.
- Almost every school district in America includes military-connected children whose parents serve or have served in the Active, Guard, and Reserve components of the Armed Forces.
- Approximately 80% of military-connected students attend U.S. public schools while less than 8% attend Department of Defense schools.