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Purple Star Initiative Gains Traction

  • Published
  • By Courtesy photo
  • 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Great Hearts Trivium Preparatory Academy, alongside Luke Elementary School, Millennium High School, and Dreaming Summit Elementary School, stands as one of the pioneering schools in Arizona's Purple Star pilot program.

“This program is a beacon of community-driven commitment,” said Melissa Rueschhoff, Luke Air Force Base key spouse mentor whose two children are students at Trivium Prep. “At Luke we’ve worked in tandem with the local community on the Purple Star initiative, tailoring to the unique challenges faced by our military-connected children.”

Trivium Prep has implemented robust support elements, including a designated campus liaison, peer mentoring program, and staff training, ensuring a point of contact for new families and a smooth transition for military-connected students.

Chris Wright, a Marine Corps veteran and third-grade teacher, oversees Trivium Prep's peer mentoring program, fostering connections among students from military families.

Trivium Prep looks toward the future with plans to expand its peer mentoring program into a regular school club and organize patriotic assemblies and celebrations.

Schools in the Aqua Fria, Litchfield, Great Hearts Academy, and Dysart School Districts are actively engaged in launching a pilot program for Purple Star Certification in Arizona.

The community's active involvement and advocacy indicate a shared vision of breaking down barriers to create an environment where students, especially military-connected ones, can flourish and grow.

“The well-being of our military families is paramount,” said Brig. Gen. Jason Rueschhoff, 56th Fighter Wing commander. “It’s always amazing to see the support we receive from the local community and how dedicated they are to our Airmen and their families. Without the compassionate community surrounding Luke, we can’t accomplish the mission.”

The dynamic collaboration between Luke AFB and the local community showcases a shared commitment to supporting military families and creating an inclusive and nurturing educational environment for all children.