By Kevin Gaddie, Team Eglin Public Affairs
/ Published March 19, 2018
Staff Sgt. Mary Leitschuck, 96th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, reads a book about civil rights activist Rosa Parks to preschoolers at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. March 16. Leitschuck was one of 10 volunteers who read to children as part of this year’s Women’s History Month events. (U.S. Air Force photo/Kevin Gaddie)
Among the tales, penned and illustrated for children, were those of author and political activist Helen Keller and aviator Amelia Earhart.
Staff Sgt. Mary Leitschuck, 96th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, read a book about civil rights activist Rosa Parks to kids aged three and four.
“The Parks book was special to me,” said Leitschuck, a Crestview native who met the pioneer during a church visit at age five.
She remembered Parks as a sweet, humble lady who made a lasting impact.
“Topics like segregation and bussing were written in a way the children could understand,” she said. “The book also offered messages about being kind and fair to people. I thought the reading went really well.”
Staff Sgt. Kelsey Avant, a 96th Medical Operations Squadron member and the event’s coordinator, hoped the readings made an impression on the youngsters.
“Though the children’s attention spans were short, they were engaged in the stories,” said the mother of two.
Renee Coltrin, CDC training and curriculum specialist, was glad the volunteers gave their time to enlighten children on women’s history.
“When adults read to children, it increases their vocabulary and helps develop their love for reading,” she said. “It affords them one-on-one attention we can’t always give them in a group care setting. Hopefully, the love for reading we encourage now will continue into their adulthood.”