Program aims for student success

By Staff Sgt. Craig Seals: 27th SOW Public Affairs

The Air Force’s Airman and Family Readiness Centers have partnered with the Military Impacted Schools Association through an educational program called the Student Online Achievement Resources in an effort to ease the transition for PCSing military families, and specifically their school-aged children.

“SOAR is an Internet-based program for students in grades 3-12,” according to a MISA press release. “It helps families manage their children’s education with cutting edge technology focusing on math, reading and language arts.”

Students can visit www.MilitaryImpactedSchoolsAssociation.org., or www.soarathome.org. where they will take a test based on their state’s learning standards and will be directed to a tutorial that will improve their skills where needed.

Parents register their children through the Web site and are provided with educational resources, access to their children’s student account and program tutorials.

Once enrolled, the program provides assignments to assess the child’s current educational level. Based on that level, the program will then use data from completed assignments to target weaknesses and enhance strengths.

“SOAR is funded by a congressional earmark through the Department of Defense,” said Mr. Phillip Autrey, MISA representative. “The program is available to all military families, in all branches, both domestic and international.”

Recently, MISA representatives sent Cannon AFRC personnel a slide show covering the program, detailing its use, and ways to implement it locally.

“We sent copies of the slides to the first sergeants, we also sent the same information to the Clovis and Portales schools,” said Ray Spain, 27th Special Operations Mission Support Squadron community readiness consultant. “You don’t have to be a military dependent to use it, but we hand out trifolds at Right Start.”

Being Web based, this program is primarily user driven. However, the AFRC personnel are here to let incoming families know about the program and how to get it started.

“Our primary method of implementation is by communicating the program through the installations directly via the Airman and Family Readiness Centers and School Liaison Officers,” said Mr. Autrey. “We have done several parent sessions on installations but we are primarily relying on the installations themselves to help spread the word about the program.”

For more information regarding SOAR, speak with your unit’s first sergeant or visit the Web sites www.MilitaryImpactedSchoolsAssociation.org or www.soarathome.org.