Educating Children at Critical Crossroads

John TolvaLaura Rieg is being honored as a Champion of Change for her work in providing educational opportunities for children.

After achieving a master’s degree in early childhood special education, I wanted to be a part of an organization that is service oriented. My Lions club was of particular interest because it serves preschool children with special needs. Our members are educators, speech pathologists, a retired school nurse, school psychologists, retired diagnosticians and a grandmother of a student with special needs. Our connections within the school system keep us informed about the needs of the children at each preschool center. Together, we work to serve these needs within our community in a variety of ways, from providing literacy packages for families at women’s shelters to screening the vision of all preschool students in our area.

All Americans benefit when children grow beyond their circumstances. Having the back and forth interaction between a parent and a child from birth builds communication and cognitive skills from the beginning. This interaction with books also establishes that reading and learning are valued in the home.

Laura Rieg of Portsmouth, Va., has been a member of the Portsmouth Children First Lions Club since 2008.

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