By Sgt. Joshua Sizemore (USAG Wiesbaden)July 21, 2011
WIESBADEN, Germany - In addition to moving to a new location in May, Hainerberg Housing’s School Age Center was recently recognized with flying colors by the Council on Accreditation.
The new SAC, part of Wiesbaden’s Child, Youth and School Services program, and located in Building 7894 between the Hainerberg Chapel and Teen Center, offers more room and other amenities including air conditioning. The new facility can comfortably support up to 105 children " nearly twice as many students as the former facility.
SAC Director Katherine Vahrenkamp said the accreditation representative sang the SAC’s praises after noting a lack of deficiencies in its standards of procedure, a codified three binder volume set. “The inspector said this was the best program he had ever inspected. My staff worked very hard, and there was great parent support,” she said.
The new facility boasts five student activity rooms, which include a gym and a safety-conscious playground for children to burn off sugar highs. It’s well-stocked cupboards are kept full to bursting with art supplies ranging from bright finger-paints to crayons allowing youths to express their creativity.
“The students make this place a fun place to come to work,” said Shannon Swaby, a youth program assistant. “If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be here. I never wake-up dreading going here. Each day is never like the one before. We teach them how to grow up,”
“We get to spend a lot of time with our teachers. They’re not like my teacher, but more like a really good older friend to spend time with,” said Brenden Niestche, a 10-year-old headed to fifth grade next fall.
SAC is currently operating as a summer camp from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Children trek each Wednesday and Thursday to various attractions in and around the Wiesbaden area.
Parents must register their children with Parent Central Services located on Wiesbaden Army Air Field before youngsters can use the SAC. The SAC provides agents of learning to eligible individuals at a cost custom tailored to each family’s income.
“It’s great learning new things when I visit museums with my friends,” said Kiera Harrison, a 10-year-old who will be in sixth grade in the fall.
Once children return to school on Aug. 29, the SAC will provide children ages 6-11-years, or first through fifth grades, with before and after day care service during the hours of 5:45-8 a.m. and 2:30-6 p.m.
For more information about Child, Youth and School Services programs in Wiesbaden call Parent Central Services at civ (0611) 705-7928.