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Aloha Transition Center for New Military-Dependent Students

Lt. Col. Horrace ESLt. Col. Horrace Meek Hickam Elementary School, (Honolulu, HI). Hickam Elementary School is located on the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii. Approximately 99% of the student population are military dependents. Students are highly transient due to military mobility. One of the biggest challenges military children face is integration into new communities and schools. To address this challenge, Hickam established the Aloha Transition Center as the “front door” to the campus. The Center includes a student-led welcome program, activities, and a physical space meant to bring connection (feel “aloha” or love). The transition center incorporated the Navy-funded, Anchored for Life program, to help students with resiliency, leadership skills, attitudes and dispositions, voice, and kindness. Through the Center and its activities, students develop a sense of belonging to the school “ohana” or family. This enables students to concentrate on academics, knowing they have friends who can share in their stress and help in times of uncertainty. In addition to the Center, the military offers support by providing a school liaison officer and a Military Family and Life Counselor.