By Lori Newman (Fort Sam Houston)April 10, 2009
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas - The Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation hosted an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony April 6 for the new Child, Youth and School Services offices, which are now housed in the Army Community Service building on Stanley Road.
On hand for the event was U.S. Army Garrison Commander, Col. Mary Garr; Paul Matthews, director of FMWR; Brenda Berry, chief of CYSS; several members of the CYSS staff and the community.
"This has been a 10-year venture and my boss, Mr. Matthews and the commander made this happen. We are all one Family, a one-stop-shop for the Soldiers and their Families," said Berry.
"This has been a very challenging, daunting undertaking trying to get all the CYS program managers under one roof, to be able to provide better support to our customers. Indeed we have been fortunate with the support of the commander," said Matthews.
Garr thanked the CYSS program managers and providers for taking care of the children every day so Soldiers and their spouses can focus on their mission and their work lives and not have to worry about their children.
People want a one-stop-shop for taking care of their kids, Garr said.
"Bringing all of these folks together in one place so our Soldiers and their spouses can come and get everything done at once ... we are taking care of their kids, and now we get to do it better and more efficiently and build synergy in one place."
Some of the programs offered under CYSS are the Child Development Center, which offers age appropriate programs for infants, age six-weeks through five years old. School Age Services for children in first through fifth grade and Middle and Teens Youth Services, which offers programs for children in sixth through 12th grades.
CYSS also offers instructional classes in gymnastics, martial arts, tennis, driver's education, piano and dance; as well as the Schools of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration and Skills program.
Family Child Care offers age appropriate care for children four weeks old through twelve years of age in certified FCC homes on and off the installation.
Two school liaison officers are on site; as well as a nurse to make sure all the health care needs of the children and staff is met and CYSS is in compliance with all Department of Defense, Army and state health requirements.
A Youth Sports program offers recreational sports opportunities for children 3 to 18 years old.There will also be a workforce preparation program offered to teens entering the workforce.
Garr also remarked on the convenience of having ACS in the same building saying, "We take care of the kids here and go right next door and find out about all the other community support services for our Families."