FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Students and their families are invited to celebrate the start of a new school year during the Fort Rucker Child, Youth and School Services Youth Center open house Aug 12.

The "Ice Box Party" will provide cool treats from 5-7 p.m. at the youth center, Bldg. 2800, to help cool off after a hot and humid school week. Students and their families can choose from frozen yogurt, popsicles, ice cream, sundaes, smoothies and root beer floats.

"We can't say goodbye to hot weather just yet," Jeff Nunley, youth center facility director, said. "However, we can start the school year off with a 'chill' at the Youth Center Ice Box Party."

According to Nunley, students do not have to be registered with CYSS to attend the event and see what the center has to offer.

"They do not need to be members and those that are not will be given paperwork for registration if they are interested," he said. "Parents and youth can expect to learn about the different opportunities available through CYSS.

"We want to stress that our after school and open recreation programs are free," he added. "(Youth) must be registered with us, but it is absolutely free."

Students and their families who attend the open house will have the opportunity to tour the facility to see all of the different activity areas and displays.

"Attendees will also learn about the many different programs that we offer such as 4H, Keystone Club, Torch Club, Smart Girls, Passport to Manhood, Workforce Preparation, Homework and Technology Center," Nunley said.

"We want parents to know that their child is in good hands with the CYSS Staff and that they are in a safe environment," he added. "All activities are youth-driven and cover the four service areas: sports, fitness, and health; arts, recreation and leisure activities; life skills, citizenship and leadership opportunities; and academic support, mentoring and intervention services."

According to Nunley, CYSS helps youth gain valuable experience through unique volunteer opportunities.

"Our youth volunteer at events such as Freedom Fest, Children's Festival and other community service activities," he said. "Youth are able to track their volunteer hours for their portfolios."

Involvement with CYSS and the youth center has other, equally valuable benefits, according to Nunley.

"It keeps them busy and out of trouble during idle times and while parents are at work," he said. "It also gives them the opportunity to participate in our summer camps, which include field trips to many exciting venues, such as Big Kahunas, Wonder Works, Shipwreck Island, Wild Adventure Park, paint ball at Dothan Survival, Water World, SPLASH!, DAVE & BUSTER'S and more."

For more information, call 255-2260.