Operation Hero

After-School Program for Military Children

Military children can bear a tremendous amount of stress related to frequent moves, parental deployment, and trauma should a parent be wounded or killed. Oftentimes, military spouses are dealing with similar emotions and may not know how to address their child’s attitudes and behaviors that may be hindering progress at school and at home.

Operation Hero is a free after-school program tailored to the unique struggles of military children. The program addresses topics specifically relevant to the military child and their experience, and provides tools and opportunities for military children to adjust positively to the hardships of a military lifestyle.

Program Overview

The program is designed to help military kids (grades 2-5) get back on track in school and at home. Children are referred to the program by school personnel.

The Armed Services YMCA of Hampton Roads works with local public schools to facilitate OPERATION HERO, a nine-week, afterschool enrichment program specially designed for students in grades 2 through 5 from active-duty military families.

Through high-interest, interactive lessons, trained facilitators (many dependents, spouses, active-duty service members or veterans) help students learn the importance of what their military parent does and the personal sacrifices they make to keep our country safe. While gaining a deeper understanding and respect for their parents’ demanding service, they come to realize their essential role in their military family.

Students meet twice each week right in their homeschool to focus on relevant topics using FUN, engaging, and hands-on lessons and activities. Topics include:

  • Identity and Self-Esteem
  • Respect and Honor
  • Responsibility, Honesty & Integrity
  • Empathy & Being a Good Friend
  • Coping with Deployments, Change & Big Feelings
  • Bullying, Differences & Self Acceptance
  • Problem Solving & Teamwork
  • I Am an Op Hero!

Curriculum-based lessons and team-building activities with peers who share similar life experiences help to strengthen students’ character and leadership skills and increase their resilience enabling them to reach their full potential. The program helps students to manage their feelings and conflicts and develop friendships while emphasizing respect, responsibilities, honesty, and problem-solving. Encouraging students’ academic performance, as well as greater self-esteem and positive interactions with peers and family are core objectives for OPERATION HERO.

Winter 2023 Session is offered at the following school locations:

For more information, please contact the ASYMCA Program Director at 910-436-0500 ext. 102.