Gianforte recognizes Townsend as Montana's first 'Purple Star' school district

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Posted at 4:50 PM, Apr 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-12 11:31:46-04

HELENA — At Broadwater High School Monday morning, Governor Greg Gianforte proclaimed April 2022 the Month of the Military Child in Montana and recognized Montana’s first "Purple Star" School District.

Townsend School District has worked to provide an environment in which military families feel valued and understood. Recently the Townsend school district was the first school district in Montana to be named a Purple Star School District. That type of support includes special dinners, reduced costs in afterschool programming, and just a general accommodation to the struggles of military families.

Megan Bleile, high school math teacher, volleyball coach, and wife of a service member has the unique position of working in the Townsend school district while also having a son in the same district. She says that the school district has been understanding and supportive of what it means to be a military family.

“They have to sacrifice so much as it is, the kids especially, you know. They don't always understand what's happening, but they know that mom or dad has to go and do what they have to do for the country. And knowing that the school and the community is there to support them. It's more like an extended family,” says Bleile.

The Month of the Military Child works to recognize the sacrifice that children of service members throughout Montana make. Moving every few years, changing schools, and having to go through daily life and the changes of growing up with a parent who may be deployed for months at a time can be difficult.

Additionally, Gianforte proclaimed April 12, 2022, as "Purple Up! Day" in Montana and wants to encourage all Montanans to wear purple in support of those who sacrifice so much.

“So, with this proclamation, April is the Month of the Military Child and tomorrow is Purple Up! Day. So, we're encouraging folks to wear something purple to honor the children of our servicemen and women,” says Gianforte.