In an effort to help young students understand the impact of war and related issues, MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History hosts a children's reading program called The Reading Brigade. As coordinator of the program, Amanda Colclasure works with students in grades K-5 through local Little Rock community centers.
For each reading session, The Reading Brigade’s goal is to connect the story shared with a military or national theme. As part of her lesson outline, Mrs. Colclasure asks comprehensive questions that pertain to the book she's sharing. Follow-up activities can include singing a song, learning to draw, writing a letter, STEM projects or coloring a picture. Children learn vocabulary words to help them better the military theme of the book.
Recently, The Reading Brigade shared “The Wall,” by Eve Bunting, with fourth and fifth grade students at the Dunbar Community Center in Little Rock. The story shares how a young boy and his father visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. After hearing the story, students learned about veterans, Veterans Day and why the holiday is observed.
This Reading Brigade session was designed to explain to the students the importance of thanking our veterans for all they have done, and it also encouraged them to write letters of thanks to our local veterans. The letters will be shared with veterans at the local Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System in Little Rock.
If you would like to download the lesson plan for “The Wall” or learn more about how AETN is helping communities across Arkansas remember veterans from the Vietnam War, visit aetn.org/thevietamwar.