MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Alabama –
The A+ Toolkit was presented at the 2021 Fall Corona Conference, a biannual meeting with Air Force senior leaders and major command commanders Oct. 21 at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The A+ Toolkit, published in September of 2021, was designed to facilitate collaboration between military installations and their local school districts to increase access to high-quality public education for military-connected children.
The spouses of the senior uniformed officers of the Air Force and Space Force, Sharene Brown and Mollie Raymond, took an interest in the toolkit and helped champion the cause by rallying support for it.
“Ensuring Airmen and Guardians have access to quality public education for their children is essential to maintaining readiness and quality of life,” Brown said. “This toolkit provides a flexible approach, numerous resources, and examples from across services to help stakeholders at the local and state levels accelerate this change.”
Within the first month of the toolkit’s publication, Brown and Raymond invited Brian Selmeski, chair of the Air University Public K-12 Education Working Group and co-author of the Toolkit, to attend the Corona Conference to present his work.
“It is very prestigious to be invited, and in our case, it was a huge honor to be hand-picked to present at Corona,” said Lt. Col. Christina Karvwnaris, chair of AU Academic Outreach. “We’re hoping that this will give the toolkit more exposure so it can be leveraged across the Air Force.”
In October, the A+ Toolkit team was invited to present the toolkit to the Association of Defense Communities’ (ADC) Innovation Forum Nov. 1-3. The ADC is an organization dedicated to advancing issues that strengthen communities and support service members in every state and defense community.
“The ADC realizes the importance of access to quality education,” Karvwnaris said. “They want to present the toolkit to demonstrate to communities how they can become more military-friendly.”
The A+ Toolkit development team is encouraging military families to spread awareness of the toolkit in order to expand its implementation throughout the Air Force.
“As an advocate and mentor, I have witnessed change is possible,” said Alicia Pepper, spouse of Space Force Brig. Gen. Devin Pepper. “We just have to be willing to use our voices and share our stories.”