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    Munson Army Health Center team members help foster child literacy

    Munson Army Health Center team members help foster child literacy

    Photo By Maria Christina Yager | U.S. Army Soldier Allan Reyes, assigned to Munson Army Health Center, Fort...... read more read more



    Story by Maria Christina Yager 

    Munson Army Health Center Public Affairs

    FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kansas – Team members from Munson Army Health Center participated in Read Across America activities on Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, March 7.

    The team visited General Omar Bradley Elementary School on post to read to students in the classroom for Bradley Reading Day, which coincided with Read Across America Week activities nationwide.

    According to the school’s reading event volunteer coordinator Danielle Patton, the students are trying to achieve 1 million reading hours in school by the end of April and the time spent by Munson and other volunteers on reading day will be included in the total.

    “I was with kindergarten, and they were a very fun crowd. They told me jokes and talked about losing teeth,” said Sgt. Amber Strong, a medical laboratory specialist assigned to the health center’s lab. “I’m an avid reader myself so I love to foster that in children.”

    Strong averages about five books a month but revealed to the students that when she was young, she didn’t like learning to read.

    “It was something that my mom made me do,” said Strong, but as it turned out, her mother’s instinct was spot on. Strong grew to love reading so much that she recently reenlisted in the Army surrounded by books at the library on post.

    “I think it was a fight to get me to learn to read but by third grade it became something I loved to do,” Strong said.

    Fellow reading day volunteer Clarissa Reno is a certified family nurse practitioner at Munson’s Pediatric Clinic. She explained why story time is important and encouraged families to make time for reading.

    “One statistic has always stuck with me and that is more than 1 in 3 American children start kindergarten without the language skills they need to learn to read,” said Reno.

    Parents can help prepare children by engaging in age-appropriate language and communication activities like reading. Reno shared some of the guidance she offers parents in clinic during well-baby and well-child visits.

    • A few minutes a day is okay. Young children may only sit still for a few minutes. They will listen longer as they grow.
    • Read favorite stories over and over. Children love to hear the same stories again and again. This is how they learn.
    • Ask your child questions about the story, like, “What do you think will happen next?”, “How do you think that character feels?”
    • Make the story come alive. Read with fun and excitement in your voice. Try loud, soft, and silly voices.
    • Talk about the pictures. "What do you see?" Make up stories about the pictures.

    “When children are read to by people they love, children learn to love books. Reading aloud with your child can enhance parent-child relationships and prepare young minds to learn language and early literacy skills,” said Reno.

    At the conclusion of reading day activities, Munson’s participants said they enjoyed reading with the students and helping them reach their school-wide reading goal.

    “Overall, it was a good time. The students were eager and ready with a variety of questions,” said Sgt. Allan Reyes, a preventive medicine specialist at Munson, adding that he enjoyed the opportunity to volunteer in the community.

    Families may find more resources for reading with children at



    Date Taken: 03.11.2024
    Date Posted: 03.12.2024 13:28
    Story ID: 465922

    Web Views: 20
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