[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                               September 26, 2008

CYS renamed as Army renews 
focus to support schools

Army Child and Youth Services has been renamed Army Child, Youth & School (CYS) Services as part of a renewed focus at every level of the Army to support the schools serving Army children.

Keeping CYS as part of the acronym represents the three major components of the mission: services related to children, youth and school. Army leaders say this higher level of engagement is critical in addressing the impacts on military-connected students caused by the stresses of deployment and troop movements as the Army transforms to an expeditionary force during this time of persistent conflict.

The scope of what is to be incorporated as part of the expanded schoolís mission (i.e., enhanced school liaison and transition actions) currently is under development as part of a comprehensive Installation Management Command School Support strategy.

M.A. Lucas, director of the Army CYS, said the renaming of the organization is a tangible sign of delivering on the promise of the Army Family Covenant for Active, Guard and Reserve Soldiers.

"Although each schoolís standards vary, as the Army transforms to an Expeditionary Force during this time of persistent conflict, teachers need to know that children will suddenly have to take time off to either say goodbye to their father or mother or welcome them home after a year or two overseas," Lucas said. "In between, the wait can be stressful."

"Some schools have military children and understand the pressures they face, but other schools only have a few military students in their classes," she said. "This is why we advocate for school liaisons to help school officials and parents help military youth make the transition."

Jan Fink, the Fort McCoy CYS coordinator, said incoming Fort McCoy families will benefit from the installationís Youth Sponsorship program as part of the increased emphasis on school issues. The Youth Sponsorship program will include youth in the school age and middle school/teen programs, and is under the school liaison responsibilities.

Becky Walley, Fort McCoy Outreach Services director, serves as the Fort McCoy School Liaison officer and also will serve as the point of contact for the Youth Sponsorship program.

"The Youth Sponsorship program allows incoming youth to be connected with youth already in the Fort McCoy community," Walley said. "This will ease some of the anxieties that come from relocation."

By offering quality programs for children, youth and students from 6 weeks to 18 years, the CYS supports the Army Family Covenant by reducing the conflict between mission readiness and parental responsibility.

The names of the organizations under the Fort McCoy CYS will remain the same for the foreseeable future. The Child Development Center will serve children ages 6 weeks to kindergarten. The SAS program serves youth in grades kindergarten through five and the Middle School and Teen Programs will serve youth in grades six to 12.

More information about the CYS program at the Fort McCoy level can be found at the Web site http://www.mccoymwr.com or about the Youth Sponsorship Program by calling Walley at (608) 388-4373.

The Army, through CYS, will do all it can to mitigate the stresses of deployments and help children cope through close cooperation with the school systems, Lucas said.

For more information about CYS on the Army level, visit the Web sites http://www.armymwr.com/portal/family/childandyouth/cys-services.asp.

(Some information in this story is from the Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command Public Affairs Office.)


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