By Starrla Cray
WINSTED, MN A scrumptious combination of books, treats, activities, and local talent will be served in the Vollmer Room at Winsted City Hall Saturday, March 9, with the second annual Books and Cookies event from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
“It’s open to all ages,” said Marie Cummings of the Winsted Arts Council. “We’ll have milk and cookies, and kids are welcome to bring a blanket to sit on.”
The main presenter of the evening is speech and language pathologist Linda Reinert, who serves families in the Delano, Rockford, and Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted school districts.
Reinert’s book, with the working title “Talking is Hard for Me,” is expected to be released in fall 2013.
“The story is written from the child’s perspective,” Reinert said, explaining that it is a resource for children who struggle with communication, as well as their parents, caregivers, teachers, and siblings.
“I want everyone who knows children with special needs to be empowered to help them,” she said.
Presented in a picture book format, “Talking is hard for me” includes full-color illustrations by Holy Trinity School art teacher Emily Lynch.
“Emily and I are excited to share this book in its rough draft form,” Reinert said. “It will allow children and adults to see how a book is made.”
Throughout the evening, participants will have fun opportunities to learn techniques described in the book, such as sign language, music, and movement. Lynch also plans to lead an art exploration activity.
In addition, artwork from Holy Trinity’s kindergarten through third-grade students will be on display.
The ideas in Reinert’s book stem from informative material she created on a typewriter more than 20 years ago.
“In 1989, I had been a speech pathologist for a few years, and I did a small presentation with some parents,” she said. “I had very simple handouts, presented as if a child were talking to them.”
Many years later, Reinert found out that her handouts had been passed down from person to person, and were still being utilized by speech pathologists as an effective resource for families.
“The ideas have stood the test of time, but the presentation was a little old,” she said. “A book makes it fresh and marketable.”
Reinert received her master’s degree in communication disorders in 1987, and has a certificate of clinical competence (CCC) in speech-language pathology. Her book will be published by Woodbine House Publishing, a trusted source for books on disabilities and related topics.
“I’ll be starting an e-mail list for people who’d like to know when the book is released,” Reinert said. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday’s Books and Cookies event will also include storytelling by Holy Trinity High School alumni Lynn (Millerbernd) Fast and Katie Kopka.
For more information, contact Marie Cummings at (320) 485-4397.