Originally Published by The Pilot – March 1, 2016
A group of military spouses is seeking volunteers to create bridges between the Moore County school system and both established and recently arrived military families.
“Our goal is to establish volunteer liaisons for schools with a military student population,” said Rollie Sampson, co-chair of the Military Family Council. “We are currently looking for a minimum of one liaison per school with military connected students, and we plan to have those in place by this fall.
“Volunteers should be prepared to participate in a monthly council meeting, work with the principal and PTA/PTO to support military families, and be a resource for all transitioning families.”
Sampson said that the liaisons would be active only within the public school system.
“It will function in a similar manner to a PTA/PTO,” she said. “Everyone participating in the group is a volunteer and has at least one child enrolled in Moore County Schools. Larger schools or schools with high military populations may have more than one liaison.
“Ideal candidates should have been part of Moore County Schools for one year, be willing to commit five hours a month in volunteer time, and have their contact information shared on a Military Family Network roster,” she said. “Ideally, we hope to have at least one liaison in place at each school.”
Sampson and Kate Curtin, Southern Middle School PTA president, will co-chair the Council through the remainder of the 2015-2016 school year.
“We have begun identifying liaisons for individual schools,” Sampson said. “Additionally, the group is also working on addressing the needs of all transitioning students as well as identifying ways to support military students.”
Sampson said the idea for the Military Family Council grew out of the Moore County Schools Military Parents Advisory Committee, which met quarterly to discuss issues specific to military students.
“From those meetings, we realized that military families would benefit from peer support to answer questions that were specific to military students as well as provide assistance as these families transitioned in and out of Moore County Schools,” she said. “By having a point of contact or liaison at each school, military families have a contact person to assist them as they navigate a new school and community.
“For military families who are already established in our school system, the MFC provides them with an advocacy group that partners with MCS to develop programs and provide access to resources that support their students as they try to balance school with the challenges of military life such as multiple deployments and frequent moves.”
Sampson said that the council would ultimately be of benefit to nonmilitary students and their families as well.
“As we improve the way we work with military families, we will end up developing support systems that benefit all students,” she said. “Anything we can do more efficiently during the enrollment process will mean a smoother transition and less stress for our new families.”
The Council has developed a survey for military and transitioning families to assist with developing programs and systems for these students. The survey can be found on the Parents for Moore Facebook page and at http://goo.gl/forms/r0nAmwYz8S or at https://www.facebook.com/events/558115761014083/
“This survey really helps us to define exactly what the needs are of students from military families,” Sampson said. “Sometimes what is perceived as the need is not the actual need.”
The survey, which is available for active duty military, their spouses and children, and those employed with the military, will be available online until March 24.
“We are working with Moore County Schools to share the survey through the school system,” Sampson said.
The group is also working with Moore County Schools to host a Military Family Forum on April 15 to aid discussion about issues that are specific to military families in Moore County.
The one-day event will include military parents, students and educators from Moore County Schools.
“This a grassroots movement coordinated by military parents with children enrolled in Moore County Schools,” Sampson said. “We are working with Superintendent Bob Grimesey and Sara Bigley, administrator for Student Support Services, as we create the guidelines for the council.”
Grimesey praised the creation of the council.
“The emergence of the new military family council is a dream come true for me,” he said. “It has been one of my highest priorities since I became superintendent.
“So it goes without saying that I am deeply grateful to Rollie Sampson, Kate Curtain and the other military-connected parents who have stepped up to provide leadership in the council’s development. They are building a framework that will add to Moore County’s value as a home for military families for generations to come.”
Bigley said that she enjoyed working with “such a wonderful group” of parents.
“Students from military families have unique needs, and the Council will be able to help them with their transition both into and out of this region more easily,” Bigley said. “Their efforts can better bring their needs to our attention, and will help us to meet those needs more quickly.
“They are a great group, and I am thrilled to be working with them.”
The group’s next meeting will be March 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Moore County Schools’ central office in Carthage. Information may be found at
All are invited to attend.
For information on becoming a liaison contact Sampson at (910) 603-8750 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact John Lentz at (910) 693-2479 or email@example.com.