Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Free Tutoring for Army Families

Have you tried this? Army Families Have Access to Free, Online Tutoring!

We posted a news article on about free, live, online tutoring available to all military Families.  This service has been available for Army Families for about a year, but I had yet to try it.  With a 1st and a 4th grader at home, I decided today was the day to check it out.

First, I have to say, it was the easiest registration of any website I've encountered.  Simply enter your "Army Affiliation," your email and gender, and click "Register!"  I instantly received a confirmation email with my login code and ta-da!  I was in. 

One thing I really liked about the site is that you can browse the different lessons to see what is available.  I was worried I'd be automatically connected with a live person asking me questions I wasn't ready to answer ... like "Why exactly are you here?" or "What specific topics would your students like to study?"   But, no.  I was free to browse and the directions on how to contact a live tutor were clear and easy-to-follow.

There are many different subjects, shown in this clip art from  Another cool feature is that there are sections for "Student Center," "College Center," and "Career Center."  So it's not just for kids!

I took a minute to browse around the "Career Center" and was happy with the sections there, too:  Career Help (including a resume review, help with job searches, and interview prep), GED Prep, Citizenship, Back to School, and "Proof Point" where you can get any document reviewed by a live English tutor.

Finally, I was amazed to see that they are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!  For those of us who sometimes put kids to bed before working on our own career goals, that was a very pleasant surprise. 

So ... I plan to bring my own two children back to the website to go through some of the resource library lessons for practice.  Math is our nemisis and I think this will be a huge help.  Try it out for yourself ... and let us know what you think!

For more information on this fabulous resource, visit Army Well-Being: Online Tutoring.

Monday, January 25, 2010

How will you respond to the needs in Haiti?

Quick post to ask ... How have you responded to the needs of those devastated by the earthquake in Haiti?  We're hearing so many stories of those who have donated and supported in many different ways.  Share here ... please feel free to leave a comment or answer our poll online:

How will you respond to the needs in Haiti?

Mission Haiti: Soldiers Lead US Relief

U.S. Southern Command is leading the relief effort in Haiti. The Army is working to help alleviate the suffering of survivors and support humanitarian relief efforts. Find out what the Army is doing, and how you might be able to help too.

Get Information on Your Loved Ones

For information on missing U.S. citizen family members, call this toll-free number administered by the U.S. Department of State: 1-888-407-4747.

How You Can Help

Donate via Cell Phone

To send immediate relief, text "HAITI" to "90999" and a donation of $10 will be given directly to the Red Cross relief efforts. The amount will be charged to your cell phone bill.

For other options, visit:

Red Cross
Mercy Corps
Other relief support organizations

For more information, please visit the Army Well-Being's page on Haiti Relief.

Leadership in an FRG

PHOTO:  Screen shot of the FRG Leader Community at

I very clearly remember my first FRG meeting (actually, it was an FSG meeting … back when the title was still “Family Support Group”). I had been married to my fabulous Soldier for several weeks and wanted to see what this Army thing was all about. To start the meeting, the nice lady at the head of the table (whom I later learned was the battalion commander’s wife and the leader of the battalion’s FSG), asked us to introduce ourselves and tell what unit our spouse was in. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, at this point in our Army lives, I had not yet learned … well, … really anything. When my turn came, I remember stammering my husband’s name and proudly informing the group that he was in the Army AND in the Field Artillery! (For those of you not familiar with the Army, ALL of the Soldiers were in the Army AND in the Field Artillery; it was a Field Artillery battalion. My answer just made clear to all that I had no idea about how the Army was organized.)

My husband gave me a quick tutorial that night and I learned that a Field Artillery battalion was comprised of four batteries and was a part of the division’s Artillery, called DIVARTY. I learned our battery name, our battalion name, and even found out the name of the division we were in. Who knew? Years later, when my husband became the commander of a battery, I knew that I wanted to help every single spouse feel comfortable, invited, and informed. I had learned a lot from that first battalion FSG Leader; she was a wonderfully compassionate, down-to-earth leader who genuinely cared about the Soldiers and Families in the battalion. I knew that was the kind of leader I wanted to be.

If you are in a leadership position for an Army Family Readiness Group, you likely have the same kind of goals that I did – keep Families informed, support unit readiness, and maintain a flow of communication with your unit members. There are many ways to work toward these goals … taking your local installation FRG Leader training, completing the online FRG Leader Training at Army OneSource, and working with fellow FRG Leaders to plan events and activities.

One of my greatest lessons learned as an FRG Leader was to share ideas with others. Sharing your lessons learned and taking lessons from others is one sure way to get the most of your planning. The best place that I’ve found to start sharing ideas is on a website created specifically for Army FRG Leaders: The FRG Leader Forum at

The FRG Leader Forum is an online community of leaders. As the website states …
“The FRG Leader forum is BY and FOR those serving in a FRG Leader role. This forum provides like-minded individuals the opportunity to share new ideas and lessons learned improving leadership skills and family readiness programs. FRG Leader is more than just a resource for FRG Leaders; its value comes from Leaders connecting with each other and sharing their experiences and hard-earned knowledge. We invite you to participate and join the conversation!”
If you don’t have an account on the FRG Leader forum yet, stop now; open a new tab on your Internet browser, and type in Create your account now! You’ll be so glad once you see all of the amazing resources there.

The FRG Leader forum is made up of FRG Leaders from across the globe, sharing their successes as well as their lessons learned. You will find tons of great discussions and enjoy an atmosphere of support and encouragement. One of the best features is that everything posted on the site is yours to use! FRG Meeting agendas, newsletter examples, checklists, articles, certificates … all are yours to download, put your own unit crest on it and it’s yours! Not only is there no copyright on any original work, the authors (FRG Leaders who created these items for their own FRGs) want you to use what they’ve labored over.

The FRG Leader forum has recently branched out and created shared spaces for Senior FRG Advisors (at the battalion level or higher) and Family Readiness Support Assistants (FRSAs) as well, so please share these with your unit.

Finally, I wish you the best of luck as you take on the challenging yet rewarding task of leading an FRG. Thank you for your service to our Soldiers and Families!

Some Website Links for You: 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hello, Blogosphere!

Greetings, fellow bloggers!  We're excited to enter the blogosphere with good news for our US Army Soldiers and their Families.  In this blog, we'll share some highlights from the Army Well-Being website, post updates on the latest Army news, provide tips and resources, and discuss all the latest hot topics in the Army.

We're having a great time with social media and have been exploring lots of different options to best reach our Soldiers, Veterans, Families, and troop supporters.  Here are a few we want to share with you first!

We're also working on an account with NowPublic, a public news sharing site.  It's a fun website and we'll be adding our account to that site soon.

What are your favorite social media sites?  Is there someplace we're missing?  Want to ask us why we chose the sites we listed?  We look forward to hearing from you!

Connecting with Soldiers and Families

Army Well-Being works diligently to get the best, most relevant information for Soldiers and Families, then collect it in one, easy-to-access location. Our homepage is located at and highlights news, resources, and information in many areas ... among these are:

Standard of Living
Personal Life

We love to hear from you! Use our Polls and Forums to tell us exactly how you feel! We discuss all the hot topics in the Army today ... and encourage your active participation.

Enjoy your visit to Army Well-Being. We look forward to seeing you online!