Events place military children as center of attention
Wyatt Barrs, military child, fights against the tug of a large rubber band as he tries to place a beanbag in the goal of one of the inflatable games during a previous Children's Festival.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (April 4, 2013) -- April is the Month of the Military Child and to help celebrate, the Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and has events planned throughout the month.

Each April, DFMWR and Fort Rucker recognizes the sacrifices and contributions of military children, according Pam Williams, Fort Rucker's Child Youth and School Services coordinator.

"They adjust to frequent moves, parental deployments and many other life transitions that are difficult enough for adults to bear. We take time during the Month of the Military Child in April to recognize their resilience, strength of character and sacrifices with special activities," said Williams.

The Children's Festival March 23 was the kickoff event, but April is full of activities for children and their Families to enjoy.

Free ice cream at The Landing Zone will be offered all month long. The offer is available to all military children with the purchase of an entree off of the regular or kids menu.

The Family advocacy program will be offering Scream Free Parenting workshop every Thursday in April from 9-11:30 a.m. at The Commons, Bldg. 8950. Scream Free Parenting is described as being the principle-based approach that is inspiring parents everywhere to revolutionize their Families, teaching participants how to raise children by keeping your cool.

The Blue Day Campaign will begin on April 5 as a Fort Rucker communitywide effort to recognize the collective responsibility to prevent and confront all forms of child abuse and neglect by wearing something blue every Friday throughout the month of April. ACS officials ask the community to band together and wear blue as a visible commitment to support child abuse prevention.

CYSS sports and fitness department is having its annual health and nutrition fair for its CYSS members April 10 from 2--4:30 p.m. in the youth center, Bldg 2800. Free eye screenings, hearing screenings, blood pressure checks, and height and weight measurements will be conducted. There will also be a registered dietitian, physical therapist, nutritionist and representatives from preventative medicine, 4-H Club, the dental clinic, EDGE! program, Family advocacy program, and military and Family life consultant program.

Outdoor recreation will host a Youth Fishing Tournament at Parcours Lake the April 13 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Youth ages 3--15 are allowed to fish in the tournament with an escort. Cost of the tournament is $10 per person. Live bait is permitted, but no minnows. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third places.

The Center Library will celebrate National Library Week April 15--19. Featured activities will include daily prize drawings, an open house April 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and a grand prize drawing April 19. All library patrons are eligible to enter in prize drawings.

The Center Library will also host an Earth Day craft making activity April 16 from 3:30--4:30 p.m. for children ages 3-11. Space is limited to the first 65 children registered. Light refreshments will be served.

The youth center will be hosting a lock-in for ages 11-18 April 20 from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. There will be entertainment, food, games and more. The event is described as being a fun-filled night of amazing events. Cost is free for CYSS members. Members may bring a guest, ages 11-18, but cost is $10 per guest.

The youth center will also host a "Harlem Shake" event April 10 at 4:30 p.m. and an End of School Block Party May 11 from 5--10:30 p.m. For more information or to register, contact the youth center at 255-2245 or 255-2260.

The School Age Center will be hosting activities as well to celebrate the Month of the Military Child. On April 16 there will be an ice cream social from 5-6 p.m., April 17 from 2-5 p.m. is the Lets Fly a Kite event, on April 18 a pancake supper will be held from 5-6 p.m., April 19 from 3:30-5:30 a Tae Kwon Do tour will be held, and April 20 there will be a movie and an Xbox 360 Dance 4 challenge from 1-3 p.m.

All of the events, according to Janice Erdlitz, DFMWR marketing director, will help military children understand that they are cared about and that their needs are a concern to the Army as a whole.

"Often we forget the impact the military lifestyle puts on a child. It is overwhelming at times-- the stress of numerous moves, ever changing schools, leaving behind old friends and the challenges of making new friends," she said.

"I often hear from off-post coaches and teachers who say how they can pick out a military child from others. Respect, honor, courage -- it's instilled in our military children. It's an incredible sacrifice to live the life of a military Family," she added. "It's incredible to watch our youth grow into leaders and to see them excel, be resilient and live up to the honor they see in daily life as a military Family member."

Page last updated Thu April 4th, 2013 at 00:00