Child find campaign helps military Families
Marion Cornish, Exceptional Family Member Program manager, reads to Families during last year's Story Time session for the EFMP Child Find Campaign.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (August 30, 2012) -- Military Families come from all walks of life, and the Exceptional Family Member Program is reaching out into the community with a campaign to find and help Families with special needs.

The 2012 EFMP Family and Child Find Campaign in September is designed to reach out, connect with and identify those Families through education with displays in the post exchange and the Center Library, as well as Story Time at the Center Library and Picerne Military Housing.

"The campaign is a big push," said Marion Cornish, Army Community Service EFMP manager. "We try to identify Families all year round, but we do some extra things for the campaign to go out, meet the community and let them know that we're here."

The goal of EFMP is to make sure that Families with special needs can get the services they require for their exceptional Family member, said Cornish.

"Special needs incorporates a lot of things from special education services to early intervention services," she said. "Also, if [a Family member] is seeing any type of therapist such as a speech or physical therapist, or any type of specialized care provider, they should be screened for possible enrollment in the program."

Displays placed at the post exchange and the Center Library will be available for people to visit from Sept. 12-21, and will have information about the program, including information on if and how they should enroll.

People can visit the displays and talk with EFMP members who will be mingling with the community and educating people on the program during peak hours of the day, said Cornish.

The Center Library display will feature books that relate to different types of disabilities that individuals may have to go in conjunction with the Story Time activity.

"We did [Story Time] last year and it generated a lot of interest, so we decided to do it again," said Cornish. "The stories will be about individuals with disabilities to help children relate."

The Story Time sessions will be at two different locations: the Center Library Sept. 14, and Picerne Military Housing Sept. 16 and 26, with both sessions going from 10:15-11 a.m. An arts and craft session will follow the Story Time session and are usually tied in with the stories that were read, said Cornish.

Reading books that relate to a child's disability is a way that parents can communicate with children to help them understand, said the EFMP manager.

"Sometimes it's a challenge when trying to explain things to children," she said. "It can also help siblings understand that their brother or sister is a little different and teach them why we need to spend more time with them or develop a different set of skills."

Another activity that Families can get involved with is the ACS Family Bowling Night Sept. 13 at the Fort Rucker Bowling Center. EFMP members will be present to promote the campaign and answer questions that Families might have.

"We just want to do what we can to let Families know that we're trying to help, and the way we do that is by getting this information out," said Cornish. "If a doctor can diagnose it, then it's worth considering whether or not [the Family member] should be enrolled in the program."

For more information, call 255-9277.

Page last updated Thu August 30th, 2012 at 16:47