Organization is first recipient of the NCJFCJ Impact of the Year Award Reno, Nev. – The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) announces the first-ever recipient of the NCJFCJ Justice Innovation Awards Impact of the Year to the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC), a nonprofit, worldwide organization focused on ensuring quality educational opportunities for all military children affected by mobility, family separation and transition.
The Impact of the Year Award honors an individual, court, law firm, advocacy group, or service provider from 2015’s Annual Conference-host state of Texas that has been instrumental in leading or implementing significant innovations that rethinks, reimagines, and redefines justice for children and families, thus advancing the NCJFCJ’s vision –a society in which every family and child has access to fair, equal and timely justice.
Military children generally move six to nine times during their K-12 school years. Many make multiple moves during high school years alone, some even during their senior year. The MCEC, based in Harker Heights, Tex., has been instrumental in enhancing the educational experience for military connected children. The organization, led by Mary Keller, Ed.D., provides programs such as Student 2 Student, Parent to Parent and a number of professional development trainings.
“The MCEC is the only organization focused solely on the educational needs of military-connected children,” said Annette Farmer, JD of the MCEC and the person that nominated the organization for the award. “Our Parent to Parent workshops teach parents how they can be the best advocate for their children. The student programs focus on topics such as 100% acceptance, leadership and college planning. Professional development trainings assist children with special needs, help children find what inspires them and assists children during the reintegration process.”
Addressing the transition and other educational challenges faced by the military child, the MCEC serves as an incubator of innovative approaches, a conduit of promising practices and an information source for organizations, educators and parents. The MCEC conducts research, develops resources, sponsors professional institutes, conducts conferences and publishes information. Just as our brave men and women of the U.S. Military serve our nation, the MCEC strives every day to serve them by taking care of their most prized possessions – their children.
“At a time when military families have been tested by the compounded challenges of sustained combat operations and ever-shrinking budgets, the Military Child Education Coalition has elevated the needs of vulnerable and otherwise voiceless children to the forefront for planners and policymakers within the military and outlying civilian communities,” said Army Maj. Evan Seamone, prosecuting attorney with the Office of Chief Prosecutor of Military Commissions. “As a necessary bridge between these two diverse cultures, MCEC has consistently fostered compassion, dignity and a sense of shared responsibility. A major reflection of this vital societal function was MCEC’s recent effort to offer their extensive resources and assistance to first-responding juvenile and family court judges who must regularly adjudicate disputes at the crossroads of combat readjustment. These efforts have better facilitated the courts’ responsiveness to the unique needs of military families, and most importantly, military children.”
There are nearly two million military-connected children whose parents serve our nation. The MCEC will be presented the Impact of the Year award at NCJFCJ’s 78th Annual Conference in Austin, Tex. on July 28th.
About the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ): Founded in 1937, the Reno, Nev.-based National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, is the nation’s oldest judicial membership organization and focused on improving the effectiveness of our nation’s juvenile and family courts. A leader in continuing education opportunities, research, and policy development in the field of juvenile and family justice, the 2,000-member organization is unique in providing practice-based resources to jurisdictions and communities nationwide.
About the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC): Founded in 1998, the Military Child Education Coalition® (MCEC®) is a 501(c)(3) global, nonprofit leadership and advocacy organization focused on ensuring quality educational opportunities for America’s two million military-connected children affected by mobility, family separation, and transition.