News: Casey Memorial Library stimulates minds of all ages
Story by Sgt. Samuel Northrup
FORT HOOD, Texas – For some people reading provides an outlet for intellectual development. It is a way to learn something new, brush up on history or release stress through fantasy and fiction.
For Shannel Gitchel, a patron of the Casey Memorial Library at Fort Hood, the library provides her family with a source of entertainment and intellectual development.
“The library provides a source for a lot of extracurricular activities for the kids and we don’t have to go very far,” said Gitchell. “We can come here and have the kids find something they want, whether that is books or videos.”
The Casey Memorial Library offers a wide variety of services for military members and their families such as ebooks, computers with common access card readers for research and training, computers with toddler friendly games, book clubs for adults, language materials, electronic databases, and study guides. There are also reference librarians ready to assist those who need help locating a particular text.
“Some of what we offer for kids are reading and learning programs that highlight a subject such as science or art,” said Jennifer Hauschildt, a public services librarian with Casey Memorial Library. “We try to make it as interesting as possible for the kids.”
The library’s programs are an opportunity for children to have an early start at literacy, Hauschildt said. The programs teach the children that reading can be fun and engaging.
“I think it is great for the child’s intellectual and social development,” said Hauschildt. “A lot of the moms have only one child, so it is a great opportunity for children to see how other kids act while they enjoy the story.”
The library offers stories, songs and crafts every week that are linked to a theme, said Hauschildt. This summer’s theme is animals.
According to Hauschildt, the library recently began a new reading program for children called paws to read. Parents who preregister can bring their children to read to dogs.
“We have a of couple different people who bring dogs in for the kids to read to,” said Hauschildt. “The kids just love it. It makes it fun for kids who struggle with reading; it is not as intimidating when they are reading to the dog as when they are reading to an adult. We do that Thursdays and Saturdays a couple times a month.”
The reading programs are geared for children of different ages according to Hauschildt. For example, preschool children have story time and crafts.
For teens there are crafts and competitions such as a scavenger hunt within the library. The teens will try to find certain books using library research techniques. There will be quizzes to test their knowledge on what they looked up. There is also an online program where they can log their reading to earn prizes.
“You have to try to keep the kids engaged as much as possible,” said Hauschildt. “By constantly engaging them you help ensure you have the child’s attention.”
For Gitchel, the library is not only a great resource for stimulating the minds of her children, but also a way to ensure the children have a more rounded education.
“I think the public library helps fill the gaps that some public school systems may have,” Hauschildt said. “I think schools can only do so much and kids will need some extra individual reading time; they are going to need something creative outside of the school’s curriculum and that is where our library would come in.”
For anyone interested in the library’s programs and schedule please visit: www.hoodmwr.com/casey_library.htm