By Bob McElroy | USAG Humphreys Public AffairsApril 27, 2017
CAMP HUMPHREYS, Korea -- Life for school-age kids and their parents here improved significantly on April 27 when U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys officially opened the Capt. Jennifer M. Moreno School Age Center here.
Managed by Child and Youth Services, the 25,079-square foot center is more than double the size of the older 12,250 square-foot school-age center. The new CDC has nine classrooms, the old center four.
The new school age center was named for Capt. Jennifer M. Moreno, an Army Nurse who was killed in action on Oct. 6, 2013 while serving with a Cultural Support Team in the 3rd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan.
At the April 27 ribbon cutting USAG Humphreys deputy garrison commander Patrick L. MacKenzie said the center is a key part of the Humphreys expansion and a welcome addition.
"We expect an additional 500-plus school-age children to arrive by September this year. Without this facility our families would suffer greatly from that," MacKenzie said. "Very exciting to finally have this building open and available to our entire community."
MacKenzie added that the proximity of the Moreno School Age Center was also a great benefit to families.
"How great is that for families to have a facility like this and a grade school and another CDC within throwing distance of where you live?" It just doesn't get any better than that."
MacKenzie closed with a nod to the recently-completed Month of the Military Child.
"April is the Month of the Military Child, how appropriate is it that we close out that auspicious month with the ribbon cutting we're going to do with our new school-age center," he said.
The Moreno School Age Center features Wi-Fi Internet capabilities throughout the facility, a computer lab with 15 computers and ten iPads running 228 Army-approved applications.
The computers block inappropriate websites and images and do not allow cyber bullying, according to Kitty Hamberg, the center's Technology Specialist. The computer lab also offers kids the opportunity to build electronics and robots.
Nearby a homework room provides a quiet area where students can read or listen to audio books on headphones.
There are plenty of floor games too. The Moreno School Age Center has an air hockey table, foosball, table tennis and a full-sized performing arts gymnasium where kids can play basketball or volleyball and take dance and theater classes.
The center also has a Life Skills room that teaches kids event planning, recipes, how to plan menus, make a grocery list and shop. The kids can apply the skills they learn in the School Age Center's teaching kitchen, run by Chef Patrick Murray.
When it's time for snacks, the center serves kids from healthy-choice menus that an Army dietician approves. Offerings include meat and cheese, full-grained crackers, veggies and fruits.
The Moreno School Age Center is open to children from Grade One through Five. It's open from 5:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. -- 6 p.m. when school is in session and 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. when school is closed.