Helping military families: Ohio’s ‘Purple Star’ award goes to 3 Butler County schools

There are more than 9,000 public and private schools in Ohio and 31 were recently awarded the state’s annual Purple Star award for helping the children of military families with three schools honored in Butler County.

Two of those – Lakota East High School and Adena Elementary – are in southwest Ohio’s largest suburban district of Lakota Schools.

And one of the region’s largest private, non-Catholic schools – Middletown Christian Schools – was also honored.

The Purple Star recognition comes through a state-advisory board.

The state describes the Purple Star Award as recognition for “military-friendly schools … that show a major commitment to students and families connected to our nation’s military.”

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Winning schools receive a special Purple Star recognition to display onsite and often tout the honor on school websites to signal their accommodations for the special needs of military families.

Lauren Boettcher, a spokeswoman for Lakota Schools, said the award is an important reflection of each school’s commitment – through special assistance for military families, veteran organizations fundraisers and support groups for children of military families – in helping those who help America by serving in the armed forces.

“The Purple Star Award is a huge honor for both these Lakota schools. A significant amount of effort all year long goes into not only honoring our nation’s veterans and helping our students understand their sacrifice, but also supporting our students and their families who are personally impacted by a military connection,” said Boettcher.

Some of the programs at Lakota East include a Veterans Network Club with the student group leading most of the school’s programs while also volunteering in the community and connecting with veterans as classroom speakers.

Among Adena’s many programs honored was a military family support group for those students and families with connections to the armed services.

Jessica Frye, spokeswoman for the K-12 Middletown Christian Schools, said the school “is thankful to be recognized as a military-friendly school and is looking forward to using this designation to further care for our families.”

Soon there will be more, she said, as the school plans to reach out to local military recruitment centers “to see if there are opportunities for our students to get involved in raising awareness for military members and their families.”

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