HEIDELBERG, Germany - Tell Me a Story returns to Mannheim 3-5 p.m. Feb. 13 at Mannheim Elementary School featuring Heidelberg Allied Forces Commander Lt. Gen. John W. Morgan III reading "More Than Anything Else," a story by Marie Bradby about Booker T. Washington and his desire to read.

"I am very excited about the book we are using for Tell Me A Story this year because Booker T. Washington tells children about the magical power of reading in a way that even small children can understand," said Cherie Shivers, Parent to Parent team member for Mannheim and Heidelberg.

Parent to Parent is partnering with the U.S. Army Garrison Mannheim to conduct this year\'s TMAS in conjunction with black history month celebrated in February.

Each family that attends will receive the featured book about Booker Taliaferro Washington who lived from 1856 to 1915.

He was an American educator, author, orator, political leader and a dominant figure in the African American community.

He was representative of the last generation of black leaders born in slavery and spoke on behalf of blacks living in the South.

"As I try to teach my children the importance of education I find inspiration in Washington's strong belief that education leads to success," Shivers said. "When I think of the challenges that military children face every time they move with their parents, I try to remind myself and my children that Washington said, 'I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed,'" she added.

TMAS was created by the Military Child Education Coalition to empower military children by using literature and their own stories in a way that fosters skills of resilience, strong peer and parent connections, a sense of pride and accomplishment and a caring community.

"TMAS is a wonderful opportunity for the children in our community to hear a story told by a caring leader. The activities that accompany each story do a lot to reinforce the message in the book and our children always enjoy them. It is nice to bring the children of our community together for an activity that reinforces how important they are. Cavan and Mikaely have enjoyed the last two TMAS events and they especially like the activities that reinforce the story's message," said Lt. Col. Elizabeth Griffin, U.S. Army Garrison Mannheim commander.

The Military Child Education Coalition is a world-wide nonprofit organization that identifies the challenges highly mobile military children face, increases awareness of these challenges in military and educational communities and develops and implements programs to meet these challenges.

MCEC's goal is to level the educational playing field for military children wherever they are located. TMAS also trains parents to help their own children become strong readers.

Kids who read and who are read to, do better academically.

Each family attending receives a copy of the book and activities and snacks are provided.