By Army News ServiceOctober 4, 2006
Preschoolers have inspired Patricia Richardson of the Fort Carson, Colo., Child Development Center to write two books she's dedicated to the post's children.
After 15 years of teaching children ages 3-5, the child development associate saw a need to help children and other child development workers cope with certain reoccurring issues.
Richardson wrote "Mommy is a Soldier," which was inspired by the feelings of a 4-year-old student who was upset about her mother's deployment.
"There's always some sacrifice that needs to be made when you leave children behind," Richardson said. "Kids are very confused and angry, so I wrote about what it's like to be a mother in the military."
The challenge of teaching social skills to her young students inspired the second book, "Gillmore is a Bullygoat." The book covers the importance of friendship and teaches children to be nice to one another.
Richardson also teaches students appropriate ways of dealing with their emotions and courtesies when interacting with others.
"You can be an A+ student or a genius all your life, but if you can't socialize or interact with others, you won't make it," said Richardson.
Richardson said she enjoys the occasional phone calls, visits and letters from former students. With so many years in child development, she's beginning to see former preschoolers turn into young adults.
What inspires Richardson to continue her work'
"I stay here because it keeps me young. I learn something every day, and the children teach me as much as I teach them," she said.