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Youth center displays facility, programs at open house

Nathaniel Belgrave tries to make a shot July 31 at the youth center as Dominic York defends and Mychal Moerkerken blocks. (Photo by Sara E. Martin)

Nathaniel Belgrave tries to make a shot July 31 at the youth center as Dominic York defends and Mychal Moerkerken blocks. (Photo by Sara E. Martin)

Published: August 7, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (August 7, 2014) -- The Fort Rucker Youth Center offers a myriad of activities for youth to enjoy, and the facility hosts an open house to showcase those offerings Aug. 9 for new sixth graders and Families new to Fort Rucker.

The open house is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It is open to all sixth-12th graders eligible for child, youth and school services membership. The open house welcomes new members and will give them a chance to explore the center with their peers, while introducing them to activities and programs the center offers.

“We wanted to host an open house so that more children in the community, and surrounding areas, will see what we have to offer and that we are here to serve them,” said Linda Ivy, youth center training specialist and assistant director.  “Parents should come in expecting a safe place for their children where they can have fun; will learn and grow intellectually, physically, socially, and mentally; and interact with other children their age.”

Parents don’t have to worry about their child’s safety when they are at the center, which allows parents to be focused on accomplishing the mission, said Ivy.

The facility offers sports and fitness activities, academic support, mentor support, arts and crafts activities, afterschool programs, leadership and life skill opportunities, as well as other leisure activities.  It is free for military Families to enroll their children.

The facility also provides free bus transportation services from on and off-post schools and is open for youth ages 11-18 in grades sixth-12.

“We offer so many opportunities that you can’t get anywhere else around here, such as our skate park, music room, our university and college field trips, and our rock climbing wall,” said Ray Williamson, youth programs director. “We even go on leisure field trips.”

Refreshments will be served at the open house.  If attending Families are not registered with CYSS, parents must come prepared to register them for the school year.

“Registration is short and fast.  Only one sheet of paper needs to be filled out if the child does not have any special needs – such as allergies, asthma, a mental or physical disability, or attention deficit disorder,” said Ivy. “If a child does have a special need, parents must register then in Bldg. 5700 Rm.193.”

Williamson said that the children who are youth center members often suggest things they can participate in and activities they are interested in completing, something that Williamson encourages.

“We are built around what the children want to do. We are always open to the children giving us suggestions of field trips, activities or projects,” he said. “The youth of our nation is our nation’s future, and if we don’t raise them with good morals and a strong character, which we help develop here, we will let our nation down.

“We help the children understand respect and trust, the act of giving it and deserving it themselves. Those characteristics are the foundation of a healthy young adult, and we help develop those qualities here. Come to the open house and see for yourself.”

For more information, call 255-2271 or 255-2260.

This article was originally published at

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