The Norman Transcript

Opinion

February 11, 2013

Advocate for children’s success

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

I am Leslie Kelly-Houston, Tinker Air Force Base Spouse of the Year, and I would like to thank you for featuring me in The Norman Transcript on Feb. 7, 2013. However, my personal struggle is not how or why I won this honor.

I am passionate about children and, working as a teacher, I saw a need within my classroom and throughout my school. Too many military students had extensive gaps in learning and it was hindering their educational success. Knowing this, I began planning programs to teach parents how to advocate for their children, as well as navigating a complex education system.

Winning Military Spouse of the Year (MSOY) nationally would afford me the opportunity to highlight the need for due process of children, especially military children, who are referred for special education services.

Through this platform I would be able to educate parents and military leaders about the special education laws such as IDEA and civil rights, the special education process that involves the Individualized Education Program (IEP) and the 504 Plan. Parents would also learn how to navigate the educational system through advocacy.

We have not allowed our personal struggles to define our family. I am a proud military spouse who is grateful for the journey.

Thank you,

LESLIE KELLY-

HOUSTON

Norman

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