By Mr William Bradner (FMWRC)May 31, 2011
ARMY Youth Programs provides affordable, accessible services for eligible Families both on and off post. Through formal partnerships with several nationally recognized, youth-serving organizations such as the Department of Agriculture, 4-H and Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Army kids have access to programs, standardized curricula, special events, camps, scholarships and more.
Middle school programs are generally for sixth- through eighth-graders, and teen programs support youth in grades 9 through 12.
After-school and summer programs are provided through four service areas, each focusing on specific developmental outcomes.
Sports, fitness and health options help youth engage in fun physical programs to develop life-long healthy habits, and to acquire the skills needed to achieve a balanced lifestyle. These programs introduce them to a variety of traditional and non-traditional sports and games that foster sportsmanship, teambuilding, goal setting, and self-discipline in a positive setting.
Life skills, citizenship and leadership opportunities are designed to provide service opportunities, develop leadership skills, experience the democratic process and acquire skills needed to become productive members of society. Programs facilitate ongoing workforce preparation, entrepreneurship experiences, computer competency and opportunities for peer-to-peer mentorship.
Arts, recreation and leisure activities focus on the fine arts, including the performing, visual and literary arts. Recreation and leisure programs promote an appreciation for hobbies and the importance of relaxation in daily life.
Finally, academic support, mentoring and intervention services provide homework assistance and tutoring, helping students develop study, goal setting and research skills. Program options promote health and prevention education, and teach conflict resolution and peer mediation.
The EDGE! program ties all four service areas together, and provides children and youth with opportunities to Experience, Develop, Grow and Excel in a variety of areas through art, fitness, life skills and adventure activities. It offers garrison youth programs a standardized framework consisting of four broad interest-area packages: Art EDGE!, Life EDGE!, Fit EDGE! and Adventure EDGE!
Art EDGE! promotes hands-on learning, and focuses on the development of lifetime skills through exposure to the arts. Art EDGE! activities increase creative development while building self-esteem. Activities include ceramics, computer graphic design, digital filmmaking, digital music making, digital photography, drawing, fashion design, hip-hop, painting, scrapbooking, theater arts and woodworking, and vary depending on garrison resources.
Fit EDGE! educates and encourages children and youth to live healthy through physical activity and nutritional awareness programs. Activities include adventure sports, aerobics, body sculpting, bowling, customized fitness programs, golf, nutrition, strength training, stress management, team and pick-up sports, weight management, weight training and yoga.
Life EDGE! provides youth with skills for lifelong growth and encourages them to explore different career fields. Activities include age-specific basic cooking, baking and culinary art activities, auto maintenance and repair, book clubs, computer skills, consumer skills, health and food safety, ecology and living green, marketing and advertising, money management, pet care, research and study skills and time management.
Adventure EDGE! encourages participants to embrace the outdoors and nature while being exposed to activities that stimulate relaxation. Garrison-level options include ecology, fishing, geo-caching, hiking, kayaking, orienteering, rock or wall climbing, skiing and swimming.
Programming varies by installation, depending on resources, and in some cases (such as intramural sports programs) the size of the garrison.
To learn more, visit your local Child Youth and School Services offices or www.myarmyonesource.com.