<p>SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - Before TV, computers and video games, families around the world read as a primary leisure activity. People would spend hours reading books and travel to far away lands solely in their minds. </p><p>The staff at the Petersen Child Development Center (CDC) brought back this educational pastime during the Scholastic Book Fair, Aug.12-15. </p><p>Excited children creatively colored large dog-ears and sat still as educators painted black noses and whiskers on their faces in preparation for the book fair finale here, Aug. 15. </p><p>In honor of the hard work and dedication in promoting reading and raising money for the CDC, Clifford the Big Red Dog, famed star of children's books, visited each classroom. </p><p>"He'll be happy to see us," said 4-year-old Ava Sugg. "We made ears and now we look like him." </p><p>Parents joined their children in the classrooms for the celebration. As they waited for Clifford, parents enjoyed homemade pudding children prepared earlier that morning. </p><p>The four-day book fair gave parents and educators a chance to enhance their book collections, as well as benefit children and parents of the CDC. </p><p>The fair sought to raise $1,800 for the center, and with the help of the military ohana, exceeded that goal by close to $1,200. </p><p>"We were able to reach well beyond our goal with the support of parents and staff," said Parent/Staff Advisory Group (PSAG) Vice President Mary Bayer. "This will allow us to bring more books to the center." </p><p>As the 6-foot tall Clifford entered each classroom, children screeched with delight and hugged him. </p><p>As the celebration continued, volunteers, including Staff Sgt. Lorenzo Dukes, 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, read aloud from various books. Children sat on carpet patches and listened attentively. </p><p> "This is an important program," said Dukes, "and I enjoy the interaction with the children." </p><p>Many volunteers, including Sgt. Brett Oldenburger, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, who is currently deployed to Iraq, donated time and energy in promoting and preparing for the book fair. While home, Oldenburger spent much of his rest and recuperation time setting up the book display. </p><p>"We could not have done any of this without the volunteers," said Bayer. "It was great to see the willingness of Soldiers and family members to help with this project. </p><p>"Reading is an important part of learning," she added. "We do this for the children."</p>

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16