SKIES classes take a temporary pause
September 20, 2013
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- Each Tuesday afternoon in Hohenfels, a gaggle of 3- and 4-year-old girls from Jessica Shaw's Pint-sized Prancers pre-ballet class practice their pliés and tendus, and leap energetically across the floor to "Afro Circus / I Like to Move it" from the movie "Madagascar 3."
For the time being, though, the Prancers will be hanging up their pointe shoes and tutus.
Along with the Prancers, more than 100 children who normally participate in Schools of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration & Skills (SKIES) programs will be taking a short break in the coming weeks as the garrison reinitiates background checks to comply with an Army-wide child care audit.
Affected Bavaria Military Community SKIES programs include TangSooDo, Culinary Arts and Karate in Grafenwoehr; and Haidong-Gumdo, Taekwondo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Private Dance Lessons and Pint-sized Prancers in Hohenfels.
"We see it as a relatively short-term pause in services," said Anita Payne-Landgraf, chief, USAG Grafenwoehr's Child, Youth and School Services.
Normally, she said, these checks might take two to three days; however, because other garrison programs here and across the Army are affected, it could take up to two or three weeks to process all the background checks.
Payne-Landgraf said community members will be refunded for canceled classes.
Locally in the BMC, Army Community Service and the Religious Support Office will also experience temporary interruptions in service.
Mark Moll, acting director, U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr's ACS, said the changes will have a minimal impact on ACS programs and services. Specifically, the background checks will affect EFMP respite care and Emergency Placement Care providers.
According to Moll, EFMP families can still get respite care, but instead of having a provider come to their home, they'll bring their family member to CYSS to receive care.
Tammy Ricketts, Family Advocacy Program manager, said Social Work Services will work with the command to find a solution if a situation arises during the gap in service for Emergency Placement Care providers.
Emergency Placement Care provides a temporary, safe place for children to live while Social Work Services conducts a family risk assessment.
Similarly, Chaplain (Col.) Mark Roeder, senior chaplain, BMC, said the background checks would affect some services for the Religious Support Office, but "the congregations are adapting."
Included in the impacted services are Watch Care, which provides child care to children 4 years and younger during religious services, children's church, children's Sunday School classes and some Continuing Catholic Development classes.
"The good news is we have a great way ahead," Roeder said.
He said volunteers who fill the affected positions have been coming in to complete out the required paperwork because they want to do what's right for the community's children.
"We're getting great support across the community. It's a small interruption, but we'll get there," he said.
Payne-Landgraf echoed similar sentiments regarding positive feedback from the public, and apologized for the disruption in service.
"Our only focus is to ensure our children are safe in programs throughout the garrison," she said.