Shannel Gitchel enjoys bringing her family to Fort Hood’s Casey Memorial Library for 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,” Gitchell said. “We can come here and have the kids find something they want, whether that is books or videos.”
The library offers a wide variety of services for military members and their families such as e-books, 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. Reference librarians are 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. “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 children that reading can be fun and engaging.
“I think it is great for the child’s intellectual and social development,” she said. “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, Hauschildt said. This summer’s theme is animals.
A new children’s reading program allows children to read to dogs to help build confidence.
“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,” Hauschildt said.
Crafts and competitions such as a scavenger hunt within the library are available for teens to help improve library research techniques.
“You have to try to keep the kids engaged as much as possible,” Hauschildt said. “By constantly engaging them you help ensure you have the child’s attention.”
For more on the library’s programs and schedule, go to www.hoodmwr.com/casey_library.htm