April may be the Month of the Military Child, but in support of the Army Family Covenant, the service is committed to ensuring Soldiers and their families have all the resources they need to stay safe, happy and healthy year-round.
Kevin Montgomery, branch chief of youth programs for Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s Child, Youth and School Services, explained that the Army Youth Program framework comprises four service areas: sports, fitness and health options; life skills, citizenship and leadership opportunities; arts, recreation and leisure activities; and finally, academic support, mentoring and intervention services.
“The youth program is delivered through youth centers, outreach … on-post partnerships and off-post partnerships, (like with) 4-H Clubs and Boys & Girls Clubs,” Montgomery said.
There are many programs available to children and teens with parents in the Army. Examples include Hired!, a program that provides teen apprenticeship opportunities for 15- to 18-year-olds, and includes workforce preparation classes, and EDGE!, which provides out-of-school opportunities for 6- to 18-year-olds to participate in “cutting edge” art, fitness, life skills and adventure activities.
Some families may be concerned that youth services will be reduced because of federal budget cuts and sequestration, but “current programming is not expected to be impacted by budget cuts,” Montgomery said.
“We are committed to providing Soldiers and families (with) a quality of life that is commensurate with their service,” Montgomery added.
Visit http://www.myarmyonesource.com/ChildYouthandSchoolServices/AboutCYSServices/Default.aspx to find out more about how to get involved with youth programs, or check with your local Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation office to learn about activities happening at your local installation.