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BOUNCE gives military youth tools to be resilient

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PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Kids work together to complete a puzzle at the R.P. Lee Youth Center at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, for the BOUNCE Back Club kickoff event, July 23, 2018. BOUNCE is a curriculum that teaches Air Force youth ways to cope with and handle changes they may go through by having one or both parents in the military. (Courtesy photo)

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PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Kids play games at the R.P. Lee Youth Center at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, for the BOUNCE Back Club kickoff event, July 23, 2018. The BOUNCE Back Club officially started at Peterson AFB, Aug. 21, 2018, and gives Air Force youth tools to be resilient when having to move, change schools and make new friends due to their parents being in the military. (Courtesy photo)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Growing up as a military child is a different experience. Moving every few years or not seeing your parents for a long time can take its toll on a kid’s life.

Being a military child and moving every two years while growing up was challenging for Staff Sgt. Eboni Glenn, who had a difficult time adjusting to the constant change.

“For me, it was always really hard making those life-long, lasting friends,” said Glenn, 21st Force Support Squadron readiness and personnel programs noncommissioned officer in charge. “I had cousins living state side who had friends since they were in kindergarten — but with moving and my life constantly changing, everything always seemed to be out of flux. My family was able to make it through and do what we needed to do, but it was always hard to stay grounded.”

As someone who understands what it means to be raised in the military, Glenn said she looks forward to a new program at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, dedicated to military youth called the BOUNCE Back Club, which kicked off July 13, 2018, and officially started Aug. 21, 2018.

“The BOUNCE curriculum provides a standardized method for teaching Air Force tweens and teens resilience skills,” Glenn said. “The curriculum is based on the Air Force resilience training program, but is adapted to meet the unique needs of a youth population. The name BOUNCE refers to the importance of being able to bounce back from hard times which is key to being resilient.”

BOUNCE is a curriculum set up for kids 8-12 years old with six resiliency lessons encompassed in its name, which stands for: be optimistic, observe your thoughts, use your strengths, never give up, communicate effectively and embrace you.

When kids are faced with challenges, this program introduces these concepts to help them overcome and deal with different stressors like feeling alone.

“The military youth are always going through a lot of different changes in their life,” Glenn said. “Moving, making new friends, family members deploying or friends leaving — BOUNCE was created with the idea that it might be good to take the programs that are mandatory for us military members and adapt it to children.

“It’s about being optimistic, knowing your emotions, slowing yourself down, thinking about things thoughtfully, supporting one another and being there for your friends — sort of like being a wingman.”

Military spouses support one another, but children have to support their military family member as well, Glenn said.

“They have to be OK with not seeing their military family for however long. If the parent is gone for 365 days, they miss birthdays and other events, and the child has to be OK with it,” Glenn said. “That child has to leave everything behind if they move, not just friends, but the support system with their teachers.”

By participating in the BOUNCE program, Glenn says these military kids will become more adaptable and resilient than they already were.

“I think military children are really adaptable. I just want to give them more tools to strengthen them,” Glenn said. “I think BOUNCE is also going to strengthen the family. When you look at a military family, the child plays into that — they can make it easy or difficult. The children, plus a spouse and active duty member have to work together to support each other.“

To register your child for BOUNCE, which meets twice a week in the afternoon throughout the school year, visit or contact the R.P. Lee Youth Center at 719-556-7220.







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