WQPT Partners with USO Rock Island for a USO Discovery Kids Day - Embracing our Military

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Military children learn to cope with very adult-level issues, including the stresses of separation and anxiety over the potential loss of a deployed parent or caregiver, challenges of family reintegration with loved ones who’ve returned home from combat, record-high divorce rates and unemployment. USO Discovery Kids offers free, recreational and cultural programs and events that are fun, educational and designed to help alleviate stress, enhance exposure to learning and cultural activities and create bonds within military family communities.

Led by WQPT-Quad Cities PBS, the Embracing Our Military Initiative raises awareness of important issues among the military community through an on-going community-based dialog occurring throughout 2016. WQPT will be hosting special events and monthly programming to support and educate citizens about these important topics. In cooperation with numerous community partners, WQPT will continue to be a welcoming place for our military members, veterans and their families.

As part of this Initiative on March 17th, USO Discovery Kids families were invited to Mt. Joy Iowa Army National Guard Facility in Davenport, IA. The area was closed for the night to host the USO Illinois event in a private, safe environment for our littlest heroes.

Local military families and youth were invited to explore the CH47 Model Chinook and the LUH75 helicopters. More than 20 families were in attendance with a total of 46 children participating ranging from toddlers to 9 years old.

“WQPT has been a great partner with the USO Rock Island for a few years now. They understand that our mission focuses not only on service members, but also their families and children,” said Jackie Inman, USO Rock Island Center Director. “The programming and support they provide through the Embracing our Military initiative has allowed us to touch a wider variety of families in the Quad Cities area that we might not have been able to see before.”

WQPT also brought two special guests from the program SuperWhy!, Princess Presto and Wyatt. The characters were available for meet and greets with the families. The Illinois Extension 4-H provided activities for the kids including cup stacking, coloring, and a game to teach the children about gravity. All participants also received a free book! After the main event, the families were invited onto the air field to watch two CH47’s practice their night flying.

Thank you to our supporters at WQPT and the Illinois Extension 4-H for providing a great learning experience for our families in the Quad Cities!

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