ALIAMANU MILITARY RESERVATION (Sept. 16, 2009) - More than 150 parents and children packed into a small meeting room at the community center, here, to find out How to Bake an American Pie.

The Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) "Tell Me a Story" event, organized by the Schofield Barracks\' Parent to Parent group, featured Brig. Gen. Michael Terry, commanding general, 8th Theater Sustainment Command (TSC), as guest reader, Sept. 16.

"We had a fantastic turnout, especially for our first-ever event at the Aliamanu Military Reservation (AMR) community center," said Louise Webb, Parent to Parent team leader. "General Terry did an outstanding job, and I think the parents and kids truly enjoyed the story."

How to Bake an American Pie, by Karma Wilson, tells the story about all the special, magical ingredients that have made America great. The illustrations, by Raul Colon, of a dog and a cat working through the process of baking the pie, were projected on the wall so children could follow along.

"I thought that the dog and the cat made the story more fun," said 4-year-old Jordan Dorado.

Carrie Dorado brought her two sons, Jordan and Maddox, 2, to the event from their home in Mililani. The Dorado's moved to Hawaii this summer from the country of Oman, where Maj. Daniel Dorado worked as a foreign area officer. Dorado left last month for a deployment to Iraq as part of a Military Transition Team.

"I thought that ("Tell Me a Story") was a great opportunity for the kids to remember why their dad is in the service," Dorado said. "It's also a way for us to stay connected with military families while my husband is deployed."

Following the story, the children and families gathered in small groups, run by volunteer facilitators, to discuss the book and to work on craft projects related to the story.

Events such as "Tell Me a Story" promote the importance of literature for children and helps build strong parent-child relationships, assisting families as they deal with multiple deployments.

"These events give mothers and fathers some much-needed quality time with their kids," said Sabina Dooley, team member, Parent to Parent.

The next "Tell Me a Story" event is scheduled to take place Dec. 2, 5:30 p.m., at Fort Shafter Elementary School.