Minnesota Operation: Military Kids
Operation: Military Kids thanks the 17,000 Minnesota youth who have been personally affected by recent troop deployment in service to our country. We are proud of YOU! We salute your sacrifice. Helping youth feel connected, active and supported are the goals of Minnesota Operation: Military Kids.
For more information about OMK, please visit the national OMK website.
Minnesota Operation: Military Kids is funded by the 4-H/Army Youth Development Project.
The Minnesota Operation: Military Kids state team includes partners from the University of Minnesota Extension, the National Guard and Family Assistance Centers, the American Legion, Minnesota 4-H, Boys and Girls Clubs, the Minnesota Department of Education, the Army Reserves and the Minnesota Child Care Resource & Referral Network. This team works together to provide support and resources throughout the state for youth from military families.
Minnesota Operation: Military Kids provides support for youth from military families through the following elements:
Hero Packs are given to youth from military families who have a loved one deployed to thank them for their service and courage. They are distributed at various events, including Family Prep Academies, holiday parties and other youth activities. Packs are handed out at events, not on an individual basis.
Speak Out for Military Kids (SOMK)
SOMK is a speaker's bureau where youth are given the opportunity to speak about the experience of having a loved one deployed. Retreats are held throughout the year to train youth to speak, and to allow them to have fun with other military youth. SOMK participants are available to speak at various events, such as school functions, scout meetings, American Legion conventions.
Mobile Technology Lab (MTL)
The MTL travels the state by van. It is available for events, enabling youth from military families to stay connected to their deployed loved one. The MTL can be used in a variety of ways, including to create Zoom Albums, SOMK presentations, greeting cards and more.
OMK holds many activities throughout the year to provide support for military kids, such as day camps and workshops, as well as at FRG meetings, holiday parties and military family days. Activities may include using the mobile technology lab, making crafts, playing games, going fishing and other activities that allow kids to grow and learn.
Ready, Set, Go! (Hidden Heroes) Training
Professionals around the state visit community groups, schools and conferences to help build awareness of the issues that military youth face. At these trainings participants learn about the deployment cycle, how kids are affected by deployment and ways that they can help support military youth.
Kissing Hand Kits
Kissing Hand Kits include the book "The Kissing Hand", a raccoon puppet, an activity book and other resources available to military families to check out to help their kids deal with a loved one's deployment. The kits are available at Family Assistant Centers, libraries around the state and various other locations.
2006 Minnesota OMK Annual Report 8.56 MB PDF
2007 Minnesota OMK Annual Report 7.49 MB PDF
2008 Minnesota OMK Annual Report 4.13 MB PDF
2009 Minnesota OMK Annual Report 6.2 MB PDF