Military children make up approximately 40 percent of Onslow County School’s population. Most military-connected students might move six to nine times during their school years, continuously making them feel like the “new kid.”
In an effort to ease transitions and create a sense of belonging the Military Child Education Coalition, a nonprofit global organization, created a Student2Student program,
Swansboro High School was one of the first schools in the district to implement S2S and was awarded a DoDEA Partnership Grant in 2009. S2S leaders welcome incoming students to their school, provide tours, and make themselves available to answer questions. The school’s S2S faculty advisor pairs new students with S2S members so they have someone to eat lunch with and to help them make new friends. Students will host different activities and meetings to engage students who are new to the area.
Each year Onslow County Schools holds a Military Friendly School of the Year Contest as a way to acknowledge the programs. The contest is sponsored by the district military transition counselor, Brittany Norman, and school liaisons. S2S teams are asked to share how they support military and transitioning students at their school.
On September 8, Norman and Camp Lejeune School Liaisons Donna Grady and Julie Fulton selected Swansboro High School for the 2016-17 Military Friendly School of the Year Award. S2S members were surprised with a cake and ice cream celebration and were presented with a banner to hang proudly at the school.
When asked how it felt winning the award, Bogue Dick, a senior member of the group, said, “I like how it reflects directly on the school, how it really shows that we really put in the effort and that we as student leaders really care about our military families.”
Another member, Meredith Howell, said, “It feels really gratifying knowing that all our hard work has been recognized and to know that all of us are going out there and doing our part in the school to receive and award like this.”