"I love books - books are my best friend," laughed Patty Schloesser, wife of Maj. Gen. Jeffery Schloesser, commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky.

As a teacher, Scholesser said reading is important for school age children.

She will share her love of books with Fort Campbell children later this month at the annual Tell Me A Story program.

For the third year running, the Robert F. Sink Library, in conjunction with the Military Child Education Coalition, is hosting the Tell Me a Story program for military families and other members of the post community. The event is set for Feb. 22 from 3 until 5 p.m. at the library, 38 Screaming Eagle Blvd.

"We work in conjunction with MCEC to encourage children to get interested in reading and their education," said Janet Daugherty. "Also to get children to interact with their parents, and parents to interact with their children."

The library registers 120 families for the program each year.

"Fort Campbell has the largest program Army wide," said Daugherty. "We have more people attend our programs than they do at any of the other installation. All families and children are welcome. They must register in person at the library, we don't take registrations over the telephone."

Schloesser will read How to Bake an American Pie, by Karma Wilson. This book is a celebration of our country, it's founders, and the immigrants who built it in the form of a rhyming recipe. Wilson makes frequent references to America the Beautiful, including fields of amber grain and fruited plains for the crust of her American Pie.

After the story, the children break off into age groups for an interactive activity.

"They'll break into groups and talk about some things that come up in the book," Schloesser said. "Like the little ones may talk about how it made them feel. But again, it's based on their age. A 10-year-old won't be in the same group as a 4-year-old, and that type of thing."

The children will also receive another book, Our 50 States by Lynne Cheney, in which the beauty and diversity of America is celebrated as three children, their parents, and their dog travel across the country.

This is the first year participants will receive a different book than the one that was read during the program.

"Each child will get a map of the country and the interactive activity is identifying places they've lived, places where family live, places they want to go visit," said James Moore, library director. "That's why they're getting Our 50 States, it's got lots of list information, like an almanac, so they can use it as an ongoing reference book."

The program is setup by MCEC to military parents learn to interact with their children and to encourage reading in all ages. All the books deal with deployment and the military community. Facilitators and scribes will be provided for the program to help with the activity.

After the reading, Schloesser will sign copies of Our 50 States for everyone interested.

Monroe said the program is open to anyone with an ID to get on post, not just military personnel, as long as they sign up in person at the library.