Office of Public Instruction Superintendent Elsie Arntzen and Sergeant (R) Ray Shaw, Montana Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commissioner (MIC3) will “Purple Up! For Military Kids” on April 12th, 2022. Since 2017, Superintendent Arntzen has proudly partnered with MIC3 to elevate military-connected children in the celebration of Purple Up! Day.
The designation of April as the Month of the Military Child acknowledges the significant role military-connected students play in our communities. In 2011, the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension Military Youth and Family Program started the “Purple Up! for Military Kids” as a visible way to thank military youth for their strength and sacrifice. Because purple represents joint service operations and is a combination of Army green, Marine Corps red, and Coast Guard, Air Force, and Navy blue, it is the appropriate color for military children from all branches.
Montana has nearly 3,800 school-age (6-18) military-connected students, according to data pulled from DEERS (Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System) through the Majoring Communities program at Purdue University. There are also nearly 6,000 military-connected children in Montana with a parent currently serving in the United States Military located.
“It is my honor to recognize the sacrifice Montana military families, especially our children, make each and every day,” said Superintendent Arntzen. “In acknowledgment and gratitude, every second Tuesday of the year will be celebrated in Montana as our Purple Up! Day. Join me in lifting up and thanking Montana’s military families every day, as they often endure unprecedented hardship for the safety of our nation. For this we honor them.”
“The official flower of the military child is the dandelion because like the dandelion, these children are resilient and adaptable, they are survivors,” said Commissioner Shaw, Sergeant (R). “We know military families have a great deal to do with the success of our military. Wearing purple this April 12th is a great way to express our appreciation to these incredible people.”
In 2013, Montana’s Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission (MIC3) was adopted by the Montana legislature with the purpose to remove barriers to educational success imposed on children of military families. The MIC3 is a quasi-governmental entity operating under the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children. With 50-member states and the District of Columbia, the Compact ensures the uniform treatment of military-connected children transferring between states and enrolled in public and U.S. Department of Defense schools.