Story by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Pedro A. Rodriguez
WASHINGTON (April 21, 2015)—Naval District Washington (NDW) hosted its first military/civilian education symposium at the Washington Navy Yard, April 21. The symposium provided a unique opportunity for area school district leaders and NDW commanding officers to exchange ideas and share information aimed at meeting the educational needs of service member families.
“The main objective of the symposium is to provide a forum for educational leaders from across NDW and provide a chance for the command and educators to sit down on the same table and talk about how they support the military and their families,” said Daniel Dunham, NDW school liaison officer, who coordinated the event. “We need to do a better job communicating the support provided to military families and the community at all the installations and we need to align that support. “
Barbara Thompson, director of the Office of Family Policy/Children & Youth, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense whose office is responsible for programs and policies that promote military families’ well-being and quality of life was the keynote speaker.
In her address Thompson discussed efforts being made by her office to help military families as they transition from one duty station to another. She further stated that she was pleased to see NDW take the initiative to collaborate with educators in the region.
“I’m especially proud to see the strong active leadership in each of your organizations as Naval District Washington facilitates regional and organizational relationship-building and collaboration, which is necessary in our National Capitol Region.”
The symposium was also a venue for the more than 40 attendees, consisting of state and district school superintendents in the National Capital Region, installation commanding officers and other Fleet and Family program managers, to network and build relationships.
“In my view and what I’m hoping for during this symposium is to build new relationships and strengthen existing ones, “said NDW Commandant Rear Adm. Mark Rich in his opening remarks. “We’ve always understood the importance and the value of the families. For the Navy, mission is always the number one goal wherever you go, whether it is an operational unit or whether you’re in our business -- supporting the operational units, supporting the Sailors and supporting the families. With mission as the goal, a ready family means a ready Sailor and ready Sailors mean ready units. So family readiness is fundamental to the Navy’s mission.”
At the end of his remarks, Rich encouraged participants to exchange ideas on ways to improve the education of military dependents.
“Let’s use this symposium to collaborate on solutions to improve support for military spouses by identifying career opportunities, increasing access to education and increasing the quality and availability of child care,” said Rich.
For more information on Fleet and Family Services go to www.militaryonesource.mil
For more information on events happening in NDW, visit www.facebook.com/NavDistWash.
For more news from Naval District Washington, visit www.navy.mil/local/ndw/.