Program to Promote Reading among Military Children Comes to Fort Huachuca

November 17, 2011

Program to Promote Reading among Military Children Comes to Fort Huachuca

Blue Star Families brings books to military children through Books on Bases

Fort Huachuca, AZ – Although Fort Huachuca is the only military installation in the state without a post library, its schools and military dependents will have an opportunity to receive library-quality books when the Books on Bases literacy program comes to the Murr Community Center on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 10 a.m.

The Books on Bases program is presented by the national non-profit organization Blue Star Families. The program’s goal is to create a positive impact about the importance of literacy to military families through book donations.

The event is open to active duty military children ages pre-K through grade 5 who are registered for the event either by calling (520) 533-0874 or sending an email to FtHuachucaBOB@gmail.com. The names of all attendees per family, an email address, the number of children in grade 5 or under attending, and the sponsor’s unit must be provided when registering.

Every family who attends with a child in the event age category will receive a gift bag of books and various reading resources. Attendees will have an opportunity to win a free Barnes and Noble NOOK™ by registering for the Blue Star Families e-newsletter. Highlighting the event will be the VIP Guest Reader, Stormi Olaiz, a member of the Cochise College Rodeo Team and a barrel racing and breakaway roping star. Ms. Olaiz will read the children’s book, “H is for Honor.” Children who dress in western attire will be entered to a win a special gift. Following the reading, the children will be invited to participate in various literacy crafts and activities in the community center. A second Guest Reader, a canine mascot from the USO state office in Phoenix named Liberty, and her handler will be available during the activities portion of the event to read to the children and listen to them read to Liberty.

What: Books on Bases event with Blue Star Families

When: Saturday, Nov. 19 at 10 a.m.

Where: Murr Community Center, Fort Huachuca, AZ

The Books on Bases Fort Huachuca initiative, which is being coordinated by 2010 Marine Spouse of the Year and Blue Star Families volunteer, Erin Whitehead, and Army spouse, Beth Bellizzi, is co-sponsored by the Ft. Huachuca CYS and MWR.

Illustrating how acute literacy challenges are for military children Whitehead stated, “Given the constant cycle of deployments, military children are asked to make do with less. While that may work with some things – such as more responsibilities around the house and less free time – it simply doesn’t work when it comes to literacy. According to the national literacy research organization Reach Out and Read, military children are similar to children of low income or broken families in that they are at a high risk of lower reading levels as a direct result of their parents’ periodic deployments, long separations, and frequent school changes.”

Blue Star Families is working to ensure that this event is a springboard to other literacy events at the post schools. “We recently met with either the principal or the librarian at all three schools,” Whitehead stated. “We learned about the literacy needs of the children at each school. While their needs are varied, we are confident that with the support of volunteers and the guidance of Blue Star Families’ Books on Bases program we can fill this need. Developing a passion for reading among our young people is not a spectator sport. We need parents to volunteer and get involved,” said Whitehead.

About Blue Star Families

Blue Star Families is a national, nonprofit network of military families from all ranks and services, including guard and reserve, with a mission to support, connect and empower military families. In addition to morale and empowerment programs, Blue Star Families raises awareness of the challenges and strengths of military family life and works to make military life more sustainable. Membership includes military spouses, children and parents as well as service members, veterans and civilians. To learn more about Blue Star Families, visit http://www.bluestarfam.org.

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