Summer activities help prepare youth
for upcoming school year
|Youth attending summer activities as part of the Child,
Youth and School Services program at Fort McCoy participate in many
activities, including many that help prepare them for going back to
school in September.
Chelsey Smith, the Child Development Center (CDC) director, said the
Strong Beginnings, Pre-kindergraten teachers continue to work with the
children throughout the summer on skills needed to enter kindergarten.
They have taken field trips to the Necedah Wildlife Refuge and the Deke
Slayton Space Museum to broaden their learning horizons.
Eligible children who turn 4 years old on or before Sept. 1, can join
the Strong Beginnings Pre-Kindergarten program, which will run during
the 2012-2013 school year.
Strong Beginnings is designed to prepare children to be successful to
enter school, Smith said.
The program is held Monday through Friday from 8:30-11:30 a.m. each day,
with wrap-around child care provided for the children at the CDC during
the rest of the day.
The curriculum focuses on the social, emotional, and physical
development of children; and equips youth with basic academic and
“kindergarten classroom etiquette” skills to enhance “school readiness,”
Language and reading, mathematics, science, computers, social studies,
and the arts are among the many areas covered in the Strong Beginnings
Some of the classroom management skills the children develop are:
opening a milk carton, sharpening pencils, walking and waiting in line,
raising their hand to speak, and carrying a lunch tray.
Each week, the CDC children also participate in activities with the
School Age Center (SAC) youth to familiarize them with the SAC program
activities as well, she said.
The CDC provides appropriate child care for children 6 weeks to 5 years
At the SAC, the Summer Camp program offers youth a fun-filled way to
spend their vacation, with academics and the Army Values program woven
into the schedule, said Cori Yahnke, School Age and Youth Center
Youth can maintain and improve academic skills through attendance in
special clubs, such as a computer laboratory, technology clubs, and
Youth also participated in the Department of Defense reading program,
which encouraged children to read books to earn prizes.
CHARACTER COUNTS! topics also are incorporated into the Summer Camp
program, Yahnke said.
These help prepare the youth to succeed in school by teaching them to be
respectful and responsible students.
Several events also are being held to help prepare youth to go back to
A college tour for teenagers in the CYS Services Youth Center program
was held Aug. 2. Visits were made to Western Technical College, Viterbo
University and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in La Crosse to
explore the post-secondary educational opportunities available in the
A back-to-school mixer will be held Wednesday, Aug. 22 at the South Post
Housing Area so youth can meet their soon-to-be classmates and new
Families can meet other Families in the area.
Anyone in the Fort McCoy community eligible to attend or use CYS
Services is welcome to attend the free event, which will run from 4-7
p.m. The event will feature a potluck, games and free school supplies to
be given away.
Reservations are requested by Wednesday, Aug. 15 and can be made by
calling Parent Central Services at 608-388-8956.
For more information about CDC programs, call 608-388-2238.
For more information about SAC programs, call 608-388-4373.