For many military students, life means moving from school to school, making new friends, and dealing with deployed parents. On Tuesday, the co-founder of an organization that works with military children visited a South Mississippi school. He shared some strategies to help students deal with problems from handling bullies to tackling their emotions.
"I know in this room today, there are some of you who are hurting," Trevor Romain told the crowd gathered in the gym.
"It's OK to be frustrated. It's what we do with those feelings that are really important," Romain told the children.
Romain and his Comfort Crew visit schools on or near military bases all over the world. On Tuesday, he brought his "With You All the Way" tour to Harper McCaughan Elementary School in Long Beach. Of the 700-students there, 95 of them are military children.
"A lot of people don't realize what they go through. I went on a USO tour, speaking to those kids and I realized, my goodness, they have to move every three years. They have a parent deployed. They are away from family. They have a hardship," said Romain.
Romain told the children it's OK to ask for help and to express their emotions.
"They don't know if you're going through a tough time if you keep it in," Romain told them.
"He probably helped with the stress when my dad's gone or something, or when I'm frustrated and just want to let something out," said fifth grader Olivia Atkinson.
"He gave us tips to never get too frustrated," said fifth grader Marcos Rivera.
Romain also encouraged every student to stand up for each other and to speak up against bullies.
"If we have kids report bullying, not only are they going to help the victims, but they're going to help the bully to be able to have that situation dealt with so they won't bully in the future," said Romain.
Romain said by talking about these fears and emotions openly, it will build stronger friendships and create empathy among all children.
"We're trying to create first of all, a peer to peer culture, where kids learn to take care of each other. Like if there are military kids in the school and non-military kids, how they can support each other," said Romain.
Romain is also an award winning children's author, illustrator, and TV personality. This week, he will be speaking at six schools in Long Beach, Biloxi, Gulfport, and Ocean Springs. He will also visit youth centers at Keesler Air Force Base and the Seabee Base.
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