By Nondice Powell, Fort Campbell CourierMarch 25, 2009
FORT CAMPBELL, KY -- March 24, 2009 -- From gymnastics to guitar lessons to sewing, opportunities abound for Fort Campbell's youth.
SKIESUnlimited offers programs for children from newborn to 18 years old. SKIES stands for School of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration and Skills while Unlimited is for the unlimited possibilities the program can offer. Programs like SKIES support the Chief of Staff's Army Family Covenant initiative.
Children must be enrolled in Child, Youth and School Services in order to take part in any of the various classes. Anyone eligible to use MWR facilities can enroll.
"Children of anyone who works on post can attend," said Paige Appelt, administrative clerk. "Their parents don't have to be in the Army."
SKIES offers gymnastics, dance, martial arts, music, guitar, piano, crafts, foreign languages, etiquette, tennis, sewing and tutoring. Specific schedules change each month and with the summer, but there are always numerous programs for youth to be involved in.
"We've been using SKIES since May," said Kathy Dixon, wife of Staff Sgt. Jerald Dixon, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team. "I think it's wonderful. It gives the children different things to do especially during the summer. They can learn self discipline with programs like Tae Kwon Do or might find different things they want to do."
All three of the Dixon children currently take part in and have taken part in SKIES. Her children have participated in tennis, karate and gymnastics. They love the atmosphere, the facility and programs.
"It's friendly," Dixon said. "Everyone is really nice."
Different programs are continually added. One program recently added is etiquette. Jennifer Middlebrook, a certified etiquette instructor, has taught etiquette for more than nine years. She has done work with the NAACP, owns several salons where she offers a mini-etiquette class and has also worked with the juvenile court system.
"My program was so strong in Atlanta judges were ordering children to take part in it," said Middlebrook.
Middlebrook began teaching classes at Fort Campbell in November. Her classes teach table manners, greetings, eye contact, hand shaking, personal development and etiquette of different cultures. She uses role-playing to help the children learn proper etiquette.
"Sometimes they are surprised by what they don't know and what they shouldn't do," said Middlebrook. "They actually enjoy the class because we do a lot of role-playing and they can understand why instead of just being told."
All instructors are certified. Prices of the programs range from $20 to $50. The facility is open from 9 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursday and Fridays; from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and from 9 a.m. - noon on Saturdays. Registration for April ends Saturday. No classes will be held from March 30 - April 1.
For more information on the programs currently available and how to enroll, go to www.fortcampbellmwr.com/CYS/SKIES or call (270) 412-5455.