Operation Hero

Teaching your military child about their important role in their military family and building resiliency, responsibility and lasting friendships

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.

Virtual Op Hero

This 9-Week virtual adaptation of our in-person program takes place in our Google Classroom. Virtual OP HERO pairs a caring adult mentor with a small group of school-aged students to foster connection and growth. OpGuides and all materials and supplies are provided for participants, and mentors assist students throughout the week with interactive video lessons and encourage them to complete assignments.

Sign Up for Virtual Op Hero Here!

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.

"Operation Hero has changed my son's life in such a short period of time. Being a part of Operation Hero has been a wonderful experience." Op Hero Parent

Operation Hero Locations

Operation Hero Shelton Park Elementary School

Social emotional support for your military kiddos is only a click away. This 9-week, NO-COST program is specially designed for children from active-duty military families in grades 2-5 who share similar life experiences and face unique challenges associated with military life. This session meets at Shelton Park Elementary School, and meets every Tuesday & Thursday afternoon during the 9 week session

Register Here!

Operation Hero at the ASYMCA of Hampton Roads

All of us understand the importance of connection with friends. This is especially important for our military children who transition and deal with change more often than their civilian counterparts. OP HERO gives these students an opportunity to connect with friends to network in positive, healthy ways. OPERATION HERO is NOT a typical afterschool program. It is ENGAGING, FUN and RELEVANT for military dependents. This is how it works. It couldn't be more convenient for our military families because it takes place RIGHT HERE AFTER SCHOOL at the ACADEMY!

Register Here!