Storytime of a Lifetime
June 28, 2022
There is only one way to explain Army Staff Sgt. Sharon Rogers’ Mother’s Day this year – an opportunity of a lifetime. Why? She read Night Catch alongside Dr. Jill Biden in Romania to send home to her son Nathan.
United Through Reading had a candid conversation with Rogers about her thrilling experience meeting the First Lady.
Rogers was giddy when we talked to her about her Mother’s Day experience. She was laughing and bursting with joy reflecting on the day and sharing her story. It turns out the soldier was chosen for the role of reading with FLOTUS because her enthusiasm and pride in serving our country are contagious.
Rogers says, “Mother’s Day weekend was coming and moms were asked if they wanted to read with Dr. Biden, and I just put my name in.”
A few days later, Rogers found herself with First Lady Jill Biden as she launched United Through Reading’s newest Story Station during her visit to Mihail Kogălniceanu Airbase (MKAB) in Romania.
The duo sat only inches apart in the story station, surrounded by a herd of international media, security, and servicemembers. Rogers says, “The energy was very good. You feel comfortable talking to her.” They had a short introduction and greeting to wish each other a Happy Mother’s Day and then they recorded Night Catch by Brenda Ehrmantraut to Rogers’ son Nathan.
Rogers, a contract specialist, picked the book from a selection because “it’s more related to what’s happening at the moment at home, Being away from each other. The story is about a soldier and his son.”
Meanwhile, Rogers’s 12-year-old son was back home in Ft. Hood, Texas, and watched the recording in awe! “He was very surprised and then said, oh my gosh, mom, you made me famous when he saw it on TV and Instagram.” The 7th grader was uplifted especially because of the long time separation from his mother. “He couldn’t wait to tell his classmates and teachers. I can only imagine him describing what he saw and how the words came out of his mouth,” Rogers laughed as she explained.
Rogers plans to make even more recordings for her son with United Through Reading to keep up their reading routine. “For your child to hear your voice, it’s a keepsake; a little connection makes a difference,” Rogers believes. Her son, Nathan, excels at math. So to keep up with English and handwriting, they read together at night. “We read a book, and he tells me what we read about and then writes it out to keep his grades up,” explains Rogers.
Originally from Kenya, Rogers spent most of her time Kansas after moving to America. She doesn’t consider either place her home though; instead, she says, “home is where the Army takes me.”
Her family all around the world was cheering her on as they watched her read with Dr. Biden. Rogers says, “They were very proud of me and happy that I was chosen.”
Rogers feels forever connected to Dr. Biden, because of children, reading, and service, all things they have in common. “She is supporting the troops, promoting literacy, and education among us as her goals,” explained Rogers.
United Through Reading Story Stations are available around the world for Active Duty, National Guard, Reserves, and Veterans. Learn more here. Can’t find one near you? Download our app today. Ready to get your UTR site started? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.