Friday, June 23, 2017

TOP STORY >> School’s out: Youth Center offers fun activities for kids

By Airman 1st Class Grace Nichols
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Although school is out, children can keep learning and have fun at the same time at the 19th Force Support Squadron Youth Center on Little Rock Air Force Base.

The Youth Center, located in Bldg. 1992, offers a variety of programs and opportunities for children, ages 9 through 18, ranging from field trips to sports camps.

The center is open from 1-6 p.m. and offers childcare for school-age children from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. with varying prices depending on services and activities.

“The center is a place for kids to have a good time and enjoy themselves,” said Otis Williams, 19th FSS Youth Center youth programmer. “We do a lot of programs that help with careers and character building.”

Although the facility is mainly open to older children, some of the events are targeted at younger kids, such as the Smart Start basketball program, which introduces children ages 3 and 4 to the sport.

The next upcoming sporting event will be soccer; dates and other activities will be added on as the season progresses.

“The games are geared toward gaining experience rather than winning,” Williams said. “It’s about learning the fundamentals of the sport and team building.”

The amount and types of classes are dependent on volunteers stepping-up to teach, giving children multiple perspectives and chances to learn about different careers and jobs.

“We’re always looking for volunteers,” said Lee Groce, 19th FSS Youth Center youth programs director. “Whether it’s coaching a team or sharing a skill.”

Parents can also benefit from the program by participating in activities with their children by taking part in hiking and other events throughout the year.

“Our mission is to help parents by offering fun activities for their kids so they can have peace of mind knowing they’re here and well taken care of,” Groce said.

For more information about prices and volunteering for programs, contact the 19th FSS Youth Center at (501) 987-6355. 

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