Finding a military child’s ‘SPARC’

  • Published
  • By Airman1st Class Jeremy D. Wolff
  • 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

MOUNTAIN HOME, Idaho -- Base and local community members came together during the Month of the Military Child to attend the Military Child Education Coalition’s SPARC class in Mountain Home, April 18, 2018.

SPARC (Strength, Potential, Aspirations, Resourcefulness and Confidence) is one of many classes MCEC trainers teach on. It’s focus is supporting student educational experience, helping them reach their goals and live their dreams.

“Part of this is the growth mindset,” said Shirley Raby, MCEC trainer. “Learning that your efforts control what the outcomes in your life are going to be, that makes such a difference once a child realizes that.”

Raby and her fellow MCEC trainer, Steve Hughes, travel the globe to any state or country with a military installation in order to improve the life and education of all military children.

Allen Niksich, airman and family readiness center school liaison officer, decided to invite the MCEC back to Mountain Home for the third straight year because of the perspective they bring to the community.

“They offer a class to each military installation every year, so I take them up on their offer and invite parents, teachers, administrators, counselors, and helping agencies to come and learn how we can better serve our military families,” Niksich said. “I was fortunate to have a great military career, lead and support a lot of great Airmen warriors and their families. As a civilian I get to continue supporting military families and their children who have so much potential and are so much smarter than I was as a kid.”

Through this training, the goal is to turn attendees into positive advocates for military children. They can provide that “spark” and embolden children in their abilities and potential.

“The more support for those ‘sparks’ you can get in the community makes it that much stronger because it reinforces what that child is doing, and helps them build resiliency so they are able to thrive,” Raby said.