Storytime with a Service Member

May 14, 2021

Since January, service members, spouses, and their kids have gathered outside at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst to read a story together and do a craft. Storytime with a Service Member was started by Tonya Wood, United Through Reading’s National Guard and Reserves Program Manager, to encourage families to get outside, enjoy a good book, and meet some new people.

The weekly gathering is something the community looks forward to, giving service members a chance to make a UTR recording on the spot and spend time with their children.

“UTR gives my family a chance to mingle with other families in the community. I really like the feeling of togetherness, especially during these times,” said Justin, a service member stationed at JBMDL.

Iliana, a military spouse and mom, attends weekly with her toddler. She said, “It’s marked on our ‘kid calendar’ and he looks forward to it every week. Right after nap time we head over to the playground down our street, filled with excitement, to listen as service members read the most entertaining books. Watching all the children sit together so quietly, giving the service members their undivided attention is heartwarming. Hearing the words repeated by my toddler as they read lets me know he’s curious about the stories…It’s a wonderful event that breaks up the day with learning, friends, and fun!”

Reach out to for help on kickstarting Storytime with a Service Member or a Story Station in your community today!