MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
Program helps children for more than 50 years
While some children are enthralled in video games and television throughout the summer, one group of children here did not waste their idle time vegging on the sofa.
Nearly 90 children on base were recognized with certificates and trophies Aug. 21 for their participation in the 2010 Summer Reading Program at the Base Restaurant here.
The theme for this year’s program was “Voyage to Book Island” and children on base learned to read through an island theme.
According to Amos Tookes, base librarian, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, there was a full summer of new and interesting activities involving reading.
“Last year we added a new dimension to the summer reading program to try to reach the younger kids - preschool and kindergarten. We initiated a reading activity program where kids are involved in interactive games, music, drama where they can visualize the printed word,” Tookes said.
The reading program was created with a recreational nature in mind, not academic.
According to Tookes, this way the children enrolled in the program continued to read throughout the summer and have fun while improving their reading skills.
“This summer we split the reading program into two separate components,” said Angela French, 2010 Summer Reading Program volunteer. “We did the separate read-at-home component where they could get to a certain number of books and earn incentives. We had another component that was filled with activities. We had a lot of devoted parents coming in each week, and they were very devoted to the program.”
Col. Terry V. Williams, commanding officer, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, was the guest speaker at the event and handed out certificates and trophies to the children participating in the reading program.
During his speech to the awardees, Williams opened with a quiz about the reading program.
“The reading program has been here for over 50 years. Did you know how I knew that? I read it,” Williams said to a room full of laughs.
He continued with more questions about the program, and each one had the same answer - “I read it.”
Williams said reading can open up a new world for young readers.
“Reading will improve your lives. You all have proven that and seen that this summer where you have read a lot of books and participated in activities,” Williams said. “Reading is absolutely incredible. It can do great things for you. You need to keep it up, and it needs to be part of your lifelong adventure.”
According to French, the children experimented with volcanoes and wrote journals as if they were castaways on an island.
This allowed the children to continue developing their reading skills and enjoy themselves at the same time, she added.
“They are in school for nine months, and we want to them to have fun,” Tookes said. “When they go back to school they have a head start. The more they read, the better they know how to read.”