Friendly and helpful people can make incoming families feel more comfortable in a new school, but sometimes a tangible gift leaves a stronger impression.
That’s the idea behind the “challenge coins” that the Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD) is presenting to newly enrolled military-connected students this fall.
Dating back to World War I, challenge coins have most often been used by the military and are a symbol of membership in a group.
“We believe these coins will carry on the rich tradition familiar to military personnel, by fostering the sense of belonging for a student in their new school community,” Melissa Minas, a project manager for Student, Family and Community Services in CVESD, wrote in a description of the project.
Schools will also be able to present the coins to members of the community who provide support to military-connected children and families.
This practice–or something similar–is a model that other schools can implement to both honor military tradition and make military children feel welcome.