Across the nation, April is known as Month of the Military Child. To celebrate this and honor the children of Rio Grande Valley military families, the International Museum of Art & Science (IMAS) is hosting Operation: Military Kids Day on Saturday, April 27, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

During this month many organizations recognize and offer support to military children for their bravery and sacrifice. The color purple is used to represent all military services, so the month of April is a time to “Purple Up” in recognition and sport the powerful color.

On April 27, the IMAS will “purple up” and have hands-on activities, door prizes, food trucks, story times, a visit from Green Beret’s Sgt. Green, and more. A ceremony to kick off the celebration will begin at 10:00 a.m. and include a presentation of colors by Donna High School Marine Corps JROTC, a proclamation reading, and child ambassador speeches by Jazmine Ellie Rodriguez, Homer Llanas III, and Leandra Grace Altamirano. Entertainment includes Miss Genesis Keren Nava, DJ Grizwalll, and Mariachi Juvenil Azteca from Edcouch – Elsa ISD.

School-aged children of all U.S. Armed Services personnel are encouraged to attend. The first 100 military children will be granted free museum admission with a valid military ID, and be given a goody bag courtesy of the Texas National Guard Youth Program, Survivor Outreach Services, and Operation Homefront.

“The museum is excited to host this event in celebration of military kids. They often struggle in school due to mental and emotional issues brought about by the daily sacrifices they make. At the event, they will be able to meet other military children

and express themselves through hands-on educational activities,” states Claudia Martinez, IMAS Director of Education.

The event is hosted in partnership with Operation Military Kids Lives Matter Too, a community group whose mission involves spreading awareness of the unique lifestyle and challenges that stems from being a school-aged, military-connected youth. Group founder Mario Ybarra, Jr. vocalizes, “Many military children are constantly moving from place to place, struggling with a parent's absence as a result of a deployment, coping with a parent that has a combat-related illness/injury or grieving the loss of a parent due to an act of war. These are factors that can permanently affect them emotionally, academically and socially. Sadly, many times, they tend to be forgotten and are rarely celebrated for their resilience, sacrifice and service.”

Resources are available nationwide and in the RGV for military children and their families. Service organizations will also be on site to provide resources to families at the event.

For more information visit the IMAS website at https://theimasonline.org or call (956) 681-2800.