Fort McCoy News September 13, 2013

RIA Federal Credit Union donates books to CYSS

A donation from the RIA Federal Credit union is helping youth in the Fort McCoy Child, Youth and School Services (CYSS) program maintain and enhance their reading skills.

Staff members of the Child Development Center (CDC) and School Age/ Middle School teen program selected a variety of books that were purchased with the donated money. The credit union made a $250 donation earlier this year when its new facility opened at the installation.

Photo for RIA article
Latisha Kreuzer, the RIA Federal Credit Union branch assistant manager, helps read a book to children in the Child, Youth and School Services program. RIA donated the money to purchase the books. Photo by Rob Schuette

Donna Evans, RIA branch manager, said the credit union wanted to donate to an organization on post it supported and thought could use the extra support.

"We thought about the youth, and that they are our future," Evans said. "They chose to purchase books, so we sent a representative, Latisha Kreuzer, the branch assistant manager, to go to their facilities to read to them."

The donation and reading sessions also were part of the credit union's volunteer effort through the United Way. Kreuzer read the book "Over in the Meadow," at the CDC, and oversaw the reading of the book "Mummies in the Morning" at the School Age/Youth Center facility.

Pam Pierce, CDC director, said it was nice to unexpectedly receive money to purchase the books. The CDC serves youth 6 weeks to 5 years old.

A staff member went through and selected approximately three or four appropriate books for each age group, Pierce said.

"Staff members read to children beginning when the children enter the program at just six weeks old," Pierce said. "For the older youth, this helps them learn reading skills. They often mimic what they see and will read to each other."

Books are a great experience for children of this age group. Pierce said it helps them with their language experience and also introduces them to new learning experiences.

Cori Yahnke, CYSS School Age and Youth Center director, said staff members chose books suitable to the age group of youth, grades kindergarten through 12, who use the facility.

"It was great to get the books while the youth still were attending Summer Youth Camp," Yahnke said. "They are interested in reading, and these books help them maintain and enhance their reading skills when they're not in school."

Youth also can read these books as part of the After-School Program's homework room, she said, so the books will provide the youth with year-round reading and learning opportunities.