FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. – In celebration of Month of the Military Child, the Family Advocacy Program (FAP) held the first in-person Budding Bookworms event since COVID-19 at the Soldier & Family Readiness Center (SFRC) on April 14.
Col. Jarrod Moreland, garrison commander, kicked off the inaugural event reading “If You Give a Pig a Party,” authored by Laura Numeroff.
“I am so excited to bring events back to the community that can engage our family members,” said Gabriella Taylor, FAP manager, SFRC.
“If you give a pig a party, she’s going to ask for some balloons,” Moreland reads.
He pans the pictures of a cheerful pig and her home filled with balloons illustrated by Felicia Bond.
“When you give her the balloons, she’ll want to decorate the house,” Moreland continues.
As Moreland continues to read about the pig inviting her friends, the children gather in a circle and “join the party.”
“It is so nice to have events to attend,” said Spc. Rachel Lavato, a 40th Expeditionary Signal Battalion Soldier. “We hadn’t in the past year due to COVID-19 restrictions.”
Specifically designed for children ages three to six years old, these events focus on building confidence, inspiring creativity and motivating social skills.
Lavato and her daughter Emberlei sat on the floor crafting a construction paper pig with a festive party hat.
“Emberlei will turn five years old this February,” Lavato said. “She will attend kindergarten next year, so for her age, this is a perfect event.”
Emberlei said her favorite part of the day was when the pig had a party.
“I loved everything about today,” Emberlei said.
Budding Bookworms brings books to life by engaging children with art, nature or science projects based on what is read during the event, explained Kate Curtis, FAP specialist, SFRC.
“After the reading, each child gets a copy of the book and creates a craft,” she said.
For future Budding Bookworms events, Curtis said they will reach out to leadership from different units to participate.
“Every month we will have a different book, a different craft and a different reader,” she explained.
Along with the monthly Budding Bookworms event, the SFRC FAP plans for more in-person events to fill the calendar.
“I love everyone’s enthusiasm this morning!” Moreland exclaimed. “This is just awesome!”
Moreland thanked all for attending and then they gave a pig a party.
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Fort Huachuca is home to the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM)/9th Army Signal Command and more than 48 supported tenants representing a diverse, multiservice population. Our unique environment encompasses 946 square miles of restricted airspace and 2,500 square miles of protected electronic ranges, key components to the national defense mission.
Located in Cochise County, in southeast Arizona, about 15 miles north of the border with Mexico, Fort Huachuca is an Army installation with a rich frontier history. Established in 1877, the Fort was declared a national landmark in 1976.
We are the Army’s Home. Learn more at https://home.army.mil/huachuca/.