Great grades matter: Force Support for Super Scholars!

As the school year is starting to wind down and the weather is starting to warm up, and children and families are getting ready for great summer adventures, the question on many parents’ minds is how to keep their children learning during the school summer recess.

Luckily, the 86th Force Support Squadron knows the end of the year is not the time to slow down if children want to be super scholars. We also know inspiring children to keep studying can be difficult as the sun starts to shine, so we are here to help with Force Support for Super Scholars, an academic incentive program for youth in fourth grade and up. To claim your reward, just stop by the Ramstein or Vogelweh youth centers with your report card showing grades of A and B or better and receive a booklet filled with special deals from our FSS facilities, including Chili’s, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Outdoor Recreation, Ramstein and Vogelweh bowling centers, the Ramstein Aquatics Center, Youth Programs — a value of more than $120 per booklet!

“Promoting academic success is one of the priority outcomes of all our youth and school age programs, so we are always looking for ways to share the message of how critical school success is for setting youth on the right path to become productive adults,” said Josie Cordova, chief of the airmen and family services flight.

The idea was developed as a part of the weeklong festivities celebrating the 22-year partnership between military youth programs and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. On Monday, a variety of programs and special events started to highlight the importance of military youth centers and BGCA programs. We show that our programs build healthy lifestyles, character and citizenship, resilience, academic success and fun. The timing of the events could not be more perfect since April is also the Month of the Military Child.

As the AFN commercial says, if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together. The truth of this statement can be found in the numerous opportunities offered to our youth through the military partnership with BGCA. In developing the concept for the Super Scholar incentive, it was obvious that the best partnerships exist right inside the 86th FSS.

“When the idea for the reward booklet was presented, the response from our FSS facilities was absolutely overwhelming,” Cordova said. “We never could have anticipated the generous offers that can be found in the coupons, from free meals, to day passes at the aquatics center, and free games of bowling or time on the climbing wall.”

These offers also incorporate several of the other key outcomes, including healthy lifestyle through fitness activities and spending quality time together as a family over a healthy meal to build family resilience.

“We are really excited about the incentive book and the positive impact it can have on motivating kids to do well in school,” said Kaureen Whittaker, assistant director for youth programs. “It is also great to have the chance to share our daily programs that support school success, like Power Hour for homework help, National Science day that brought in a robotics project for kids, or the digital arts festival that introduces kids to claymation, movie making or music tech.”

The most recent survey from the National Center for Education Statistics found that out of 34 countries surveyed, the U.S. ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math. These statistics demonstrate the need for us to keep our focus on continuing to encourage children to work hard in school, as well as giving them interactive and hands-on ways to practice the skills they are learning in school. Creating enjoyable, high yield learning activities that engage youth in fun programs is truly the mission of our Air Force youth centers. After school clubs like gardening, CSI Mysteries, Mission Impossible, Outdoor Survival, International Cooking or Club Tech capture the imaginations and talents of our kids and help them realize what they are capable of achieving. And with summer right around the corner, these programs are more important than ever as studies show most youth will lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in math computation and up to two months in reading achievement.

The Summer Learning Initiative also gives youth the access to clubs that will keep them learning all summer. You will be able to check out all the possibilities in May when summer camp registration opens on our website at 9 a.m. May 20. To learn more about the Super Scholar incentive program or any of our youth center activities, stop by Bldg. 428 on Ramstein or Bldg. 1057 on Vogelweh, or call 06371-47-6444 or 0631-536-6504. More details can also be found online at under the family tab.

(Courtesy of 86th Force Support Squadron)