An on-line virtual learning guide has been developed to support Veterans and VA workforce families with PreK-12 students. The guide’s supportive materials and projects lighten the load for parents who are double tasking with new home schooling responsibilities.
VA’s Secretary’s Center for Strategic Partnerships (SCSP) recognized a need and leveraged its partnerships with industry to include Apple, Google, McKinsey and the Milken Family Foundation, as well as additional independent organizations, to lean on their educational expertise and resources to develop a virtual learning guide. The guide is designed to engage students and reinforce school-assigned learning subjects.
The PreK-12 educational guide was co-developed in partnership with VA industry partners, by Lt. Col. Renette J. Hilton, Senior United States Air Force Legislative Fellow, currently serving a 5-month fellowship in the VA Secretary’s Center for Strategic Partnerships. “Collaborating on this guide was one of my first assignments with SCSP and I am humbled by the impact I believe this will have,” Lt. Col. Hilton said.
The virtual learning support for VA’s workforce and Veteran families was developed in response to those who might be struggling with virtual learning. It’s intended to assist caregivers with guided instruction to oversee students in a virtual environment. The general subject areas include math, science, English language arts, social studies, music, art, lifestyle and do-it yourself (DIY) education. Each resource is categorized by grade, subject and audience member (student/instructor).
This unique, virtual learning tool is the result of Lt. Col. Hilton’s first efforts associated with SCSP. Hilton was selected to serve with VA’s Secretary’s Center for Strategic Partnerships to gain a strategic organizational perspective, education about VA operations, and to extend her expertise on Veterans’ interactions and perceptions of VA partners, policies and initiatives. Lt. Col. Hilton shared, “As an Air Force Veteran and a mother whose children use and benefit from the resources listed in the guide, it is especially rewarding to connect my fellow Veterans and their families with a learning tool that proves helpful during this unprecedented time.”
Initial review suggests a “wow” value for the guide.
VA employee and mother, Candace Jones, says her 10-year-old daughter Caiden took the guide for a test drive by doing a virtual fall foliage project. “Oh, she [Caiden] thought it was really cool,” Jones said. “When she started coloring on the paper and saw the leaf – she was like, ‘Wow!’
“I highly recommend the guide. It is comforting to know I have this [virtual learning] covered. Having a fun at-the-ready resource to entertain and educate Caiden is incredibly valuable to me and allows me a bit of down time, too.”
SCSP’s mission is to improve Veterans’ lives by bringing the unique capabilities of the private sector to VA through big, bold, impactful programs. For support with virtual learning, please visit https://www.va.gov/scsp/docs/vaVirtualInnovativeEducationalResourcesGuideInFormation.PDF.
Kristin Pressly-Mills is the interim portfolio manager for the Secretary’s Center for Strategic Partnerships.