Stuttgart military parents looking to support the emotional needs of their children now have resources readily available, thanks to the “Entitlements” collection unveiled May 10 at the Patch Library. The collection consists of 53 books and 10 story kits designed to address the unique challenges faced by children of military families.
While the story kits will be incorporated into the curriculums of U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart child development and school-age centers, the Patch Library will house the books.
About half of the collection is aimed at children, with selections ranging from storybooks dealing transitions — separations, moves, the loss of a parent — to military heritage, such as “Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot” and “America’s White Table,” according to Juanita Harvin, the AFRICOM Educational and Cultural liaison.
Adult selections are nonfiction titles that focus on how to support children through deployment and separation, and build confidence and resiliency.
The collection was the idea of Christi Ham, wife of Gen. Carter F. Ham, the U.S. Africa Command commanding general.
“Mrs. Ham wanted parents to be able to access the Military Child Education Coalition’s recommended resources … at one location, free of charge,” said Brenda Coffield Fellmer, the MCEC European Program manager. “It took off from there.”
MCEC, a nonprofit organization, is focused on ensuring quality educational opportunities for military children through initiatives such as “Student 2 Student,” “Parent to Parent” and “SchoolQuest.”
The Stuttgart Community Spouses Club, U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Family and MWR, and Installation Management Command joined forces to purchase the books, Harvin said.