What is Military Kids Connect®?
Military Kids Connect® is an online resource for military children (ages 6-17) coping with a parent or caregiver's deployment and with the challenges unique to being a military kid. Military Kids Connect provides age-appropriate interactive activities, personal stories, and a place for military kids to share their views and experiences. These tools safely help children, parents, and educators navigate the wide range of practical and emotional challenges facing military kids.
Who is Stampy?
Stampy the passport stamp is your guide through Military Kids Connect. A world traveler himself, Stampy is always ready for adventure and to help you explore new places.
How is Military Kids Connect different from other websites for kids?
Military Kids Connect is different from other websites for kids in several ways. The website is:
- Developed by psychologists.
- A Department of Defense website.
- Intended for military children.
- Military Kids Connect has Stampy!
Who developed Military Kids Connect?
Military Kids Connect was developed by two psychologists at the National Center for Telehealth & Technology: Kelly A. Blasko, Ph.D. and Pam Murphy, Psy.D. Dr. Blasko is a licensed counseling psychologist who has specialized in translating psychological requirements and interventions into technology-based solutions. Dr. Blasko completed her Ph.D. at The Pennsylvania State University and her M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy from the Appalachian State University. Dr. Murphy is a clinical psychologist who has specialized in working with children in all settings. Dr. Murphy received her doctorate from Baylor University.
What is the value to users of Military Kids Connect?
Military Kids Connect is a website specifically designed to enhance the resilience of military children of all ages in response to the unique challenges of military life. A pre-moderated social network with user commenting connects military kids and enables opportunities for peer support; interactive maps and online scrapbooks encourage parent-child interaction; documentary-style videos capture the experience of military youth; instructional vignettes provide guidance as youth are faced with age-specific dilemmas; and educational games help to distract users from everyday pressures. The website's overarching design is intended to promote learning through skills development.
Why was Military Kids Connect created?
Military Kids Connect was developed when a gap was found in websites for military kids whose parent or caregiver was deployed. Development began in October 2010. Presidential Study Directive-9 (PSD-9), Strengthening Our Military Families: Meeting America's Commitment (January 2011) called for a Government-wide effort to "enhance the well-being and psychological health of the military family." Deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan have affected nearly two million military children. The key finding of a 2010 RAND study suggested military youth experience distress resulting in anxiety symptoms and emotional difficulties before, during and after a parent's deployment. Despite the accessibility and popularity of the Internet among children, there was no website specifically designed to support children whose caregivers deploy. Military Kids Connect was designed to fill this gap and has since expanded to focus on the overall unique challenges of being a military-connected youth.
Can I get a speaker or promotional materials for my event?
To arrange for a speaker or promotional materials from Military Kids Connect, please contact us using the "Contact Us" link on the bottom menu bar.
What if inappropriate content is shared by children?
Continuous electronic filtering and pre-moderation of all comments will remove inappropriate content.
How is user privacy protected?
Military Kids Connect complies with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Children have the option to post content as an anonymous user or create a username for each session. No personal identification information is collected. In order to participate in online postings, users must agree to community rules. All online posts are pre-moderated and any inappropriate or suspicious posts are removed and sent to appropriate authorities when needed.
Do you collect information about users?
No. Military Kids Connect complies with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). No personal identification information is collected.
How are users protected from online predators or cyberbullies?
Users are protected through pre-moderation of all online postings. Any predatory or bullying content is not allowed to be posted. No personal identification information is required or allowed to be posted publicly. Because the site does not collect any personal identification information, predators or cyberbullies cannot gain such information
Will other kids know who I am?
No personal identification information is stored or posted on the website. We use filters and moderators to protect you from revealing personal information that would identify you.
Do I need an account to use the site?
No, you do not need a user account.
Do I have to use a particular browser?
This site works optimally with Internet Explorer 9, Firefox 3.6+ and Chrome.
Do I need special software to watch videos or play games?
You need the latest Flash plug-in on your computer to watch videos. If you do not have Flash you will be prompted to download it. You may have difficulty viewing videos over slow Internet connections, such as dial-up or low-bandwidth wireless connections. If you are using Norton Personal Firewall or Norton Internet Security, you may need to adjust your settings at the Norton ad-blocking settings adjustment page.
Are your pages printer-friendly?
Not all pages are printer-friendly. Pages that are printer-friendly include the instructions for projects, scrapbook pages, resource lists and some game images.
How do I submit online comments?
All ages of military youth can submit online posts. After you view any of the MKC videos, you can submit a comment about the video. On the What's on Your Mind board, you can start a conversation on just about any topic you like — or join in on other youth's topics. All comments are pre-moderated, so you will need to check back in a day or so to see your post. When submitting comments, you'll be asked to submit your comment anonymously or create a username for that session. Usernames must be made-up or silly names, since any username suspected of being a real name will be changed to anonymous by the moderators. You'll also have to agree to the User Agreement and follow the simple rules of the community.
I just submitted a comment but I don't see it. Why not?
All comments are pre-moderated. After you submit your comment, moderators will review the content before allowing it to be viewed by others. Moderators will generally review all submitted comments within 1 business day. Check back the next day to see your post.
I'm having technical problems. Who do I contact?
If you are having technical problems, please contact us using the "Contact Us" link on the bottom menu bar. Note that we only check the "Contact Us" account periodically so an immediate response is not likely.