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October 12, 2012

Community

McCoy personnel help Operation Military Kids team win 2012 award

The Wisconsin Operation Military Kids (OMK) team received the 2012 Excellence in Community Engagement Award from the University of Wisconsin (UW) Colleges and UW Extension.
PHOTO: Chancellor Ray Cross (standing, far right) congratulated team members and supporters of the Wisconsin Operation Military Kids State Team, 4-H Youth Development, Cooperative Extension, and University of Wisconsin Extension. Contributed photo
Chancellor Ray Cross (standing, far right) congratulated team members and supporters of the Wisconsin Operation Military Kids State Team, 4-H Youth Development, Cooperative Extension, and University of Wisconsin Extension at the Chancellor’s Awards event. Front row: (left to right) Ruth Price, Jan Fink, Cathy McPhail, Becky Walley, and Tina Jeffords. Back row: Lt. Col. Tammy Gross, Ellen Magee, Kim Sandleback, Sue Curtis, Jim Larson, State Sen. Dale Schultz, John Ashley, Denny Behr, Laura Pettersen, and Col. Julie Gerety. Team members not pictured: John Benberg, Flormaria Gonzalez, Lilly Irvin-Vitela.
(Contributed photo)

Two Fort McCoy Child, Youth & School Services program employees, Jan Fink and Becky Walley, are members of the team.

UW Colleges and UW Extension Chancellor Ray Cross presented the award Sept. 20 at the institutions’ Chancellor’s Awards Reception in Madison. The annual Chancellor’s Awards recognize UW Colleges and UW Extension partners, supporters and employees for their outstanding contributions to the quality of life in Wisconsin.

In presenting the award, Cross praised OMK for developing a strong community support network for military Families and children dealing with challenges encountered when a loved one is deployed. Fort McCoy uses the program to help provide resources to Families facing the deployment of a servicemember, Walley said.

“The Chancellor’s Awards are a once-a-year celebration of UW Colleges’ and UW Extension’s valuable contributions to lifelong learning, but the work of these two institutions is in evidence every day of the year in all 72 Wisconsin counties,” Cross said. “Let us thank the 2012 awards recipients for protecting the environment, developing youth and adult leaders, reaching state residents with learning opportunities via cost-effective technologies, creating win-win collaborations and so much more — all with the goal of bringing university resources and knowledge to the people of our state.”

More than 14,000 children in Wisconsin have parents in the military. These children and their Families face many challenges. The cycle of military deployment has an enormous impact on youth from the day the parent learns about the deployment through the reintegration when they return home. OMK provides opportunities for these kids to connect with other youth in similar situations, and provides adults who can empathize and help them cope with their new world.

OMK is made possible through the strong partnership and hard work of many individuals including the Department of Public Instruction; Wisconsin Association of School Boards; Wisconsin National Guard; Army Child, Youth and School Services; 115th Fighter Wing; Army Reserve Child, Youth & School Services; Navy League; Supporting Families Together; 4-H Youth Development; UW-Platteville; and UW Extension, Cooperative Extension.

UW Colleges is comprised of 13 freshman-sophomore campuses that offer an associate degree in arts and science and prepare students of all ages and backgrounds for baccalaureate and professional programs. UW Extension includes Cooperative Extension offices in 72 counties and three tribal nations, 12 Small Business Development Centers, and outreach and e-learning programs delivered via the 26 UW System campuses and distance-learning channels, as well as the statewide networks of Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television.

(Submitted by the UW Extension.)
 

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