Capt. Adam Black, Command and General Staff Officer Course student, reads "A Color of His Own" by author/illustrator Leo Lionni to his 7-year-old son Kai in the United Through Reading story station set up in the Children's Room Sept. 16 at the Combined Arms Research Library. Black recorded the reading using the UTR app, which he has used before to help stay connected with his children while deployed or TDY. The story station is set up through Sept. 30 to encourage families to use the UTR program. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Charlotte Richter / Staff Writer

Nonprofit program United Through Reading has partnered with Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation to provide story stations at every post library. The story station at the Combined Arms Research Library now through Sept. 30 is a designated area with a rocking chair, backdrop and tri-pod to encourage service members to record themselves reading a book to family members or friends using the UTR app.


The intent is to virtually help connect service members with their loved ones in an exclusive reading experience, especially during moments of separation. To use the app, users create an account using ID.me and follow instructions to record. Videos are then uploaded into an archive in the app and e-mailed to whomever the user
specifies for future playback. The recording process takes about five to 20 minutes de- pending on the length of the book and the reading style of the user.

Capt. Adam Black, Command and General Staff Officer Course student, reads “A Color of His Own” by author/illustrator Leo Lionni to his 7-year-old son Kai in the United Through Reading story station set up in the Children’s Room Sept. 16 at the Combined Arms Research Library. Black recorded the reading using the UTR app, which he has used before to help stay connected with his children while deployed or TDY. The story station is set up through Sept. 30 to encourage families to use the UTR program. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


“It’s all free — free app, free books, free everything,” said Trisha Black, UTR program assistant.

Black said her family has often used the app when her husband, Capt. Adam Black, Command and General Staff Officer Course student, has been deployed or TDY, and the
stories have since become a routine with their children.


“The more you do it, the more natural it is for them, and the more they look forward to it,” Black said. “Your voice is like your fingerprint. There’s nothing like it in the world, it’s unique to you, and even if your kids aren’t readers, just hearing your voice every day is
going to give them that special connection.”

Six-year-olds Lilly and Abby Black look through books, including “Naughty Cherie!” by Joyce Carol Oats and Mark Graham, while the girls’ parents, Capt. Adam Black, Command and General Staff Officer Course student, and Trisha Black, United Through Reading program assistant, demonstrate use of the UTR story station Sept. 16 at the Combined Arms Research Library. The story station, a reading area for parents to record themselves reading books using the UTR app, is set up in the Children’s Room of the library through Sept. 30 to encourage families to use the UTR program. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

UTR has provided the library with three different children’s books — appropriate for
reading levels ranging from age 2 to 12 and older — that are available as a gift for users of the story station.

UTR app users can request that free books be delivered to children at home and service members away for read-along storytimes. UTR has a selection of more than 200 titles and considers additional requests. Families are also encouraged to explore options in the library.

“We have over 15,000 books in our Children’s Room,” said Sierra Hochstatter, CARL community library technician. “This includes board books, easy picture books, beginning readers, chapter books, graphic novels, biographies and non-fiction collections.”

Capt. Adam Black, Command and General Staff Officer Course student, records his reading of “A Color of His Own” by author/illustrator Leo Lionni to his 7-year-old son Kai using the United Through Reading story station set up in the Children’s Room Sept. 16 at the Combined Arms Research Library. Black has used the UTR app to help stay connected with his children while deployed or TDY. The story station is set up through Sept. 30 to encourage families to use the UTR program. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


Following UTR guidelines, UTR app participation is available to active-duty service members, Reservists and retirees. UTR acknowledges the importance of storytime vid-eos for everyone at home and abroad and also offers UTR app access to international service members with a Non-classified Internet Protocol Router Network account.

For more information, visit https://unitedthroughreading.org/.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

twenty + 11 =