Col. Fern O. Sumpter, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall commander, reads to children from the 9B class at the Cody Child Development Center during a visit to her office Nov. 14 (Photo by Rachel Larue).

Two buses pulled up in front of Bldg. 59 on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Nov. 14, and out came some pretty precious cargo visiting the Headquarters Building for a special reason.

The group of 3-to-4-year-olds from Cody Child Development Center visited JBM-HH Commander Col. Fern O. Sumpter, who read two books to them in honor of National Young Reader's Day, which is held each year on the second Tuesday in November. The day recognizes the benefits of reading, and the CDC used it to promote the importance of reading and to encourage the kids to learn to read.

"It's very important to have them exposed to things," said Karyann Barr, lead care giver. "They'll be ready for kindergarten."

"Welcome 9A and 9B" was written on the dry erase board in Sumpter's office. The kids settled in on the floor with freshly popped popcorn as Sumpter welcomed them.

The first book Sumpter read was "Hibernation Station," by Michelle Meadows. It tells the story of forest animals boarding a train in preparation to hibernate for the winter season.

"Fuzzy slippers, warm pajamas, forest babies and their mamas show up early at the station. Time for winter hibernation," began Sumpter. As the book unfolded, the animals on board the train complained about snoring, the size of their sleeping quarters, and how some got wet when the train went into a stream. Some even asked for snacks before they fell asleep. The kids listened attentively to the story and responded with an enthusiastic "yes" when Sumpter asked them if they'd like to hear another story about a bear. She then picked up "Bear Feels Scared," by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman. That book tells the story of the lost Bear, whose friends search for him when they realize he isn't home.

"You don't want to go outside by yourself," Sumpter told the youngsters. "That's how you get lost." The story ended with Bear being found by his friends. When the second book was finished, Sumpter helped the children to write their names on the dry erase board.

Page last updated Tue November 20th, 2012 at 00:00