Joint Base Langely-Eustis (May 18, 2011) - Military children and their parents equaling 41 families gathered together with Family Readiness Support Assistants and Leaders, members of the Virginia Living Museum the evening of May 12 at General Stanford Elementary School on Joint Base Langely-Eustis to participate in the Military Child Education Coalition's Tell Me A Story program.

According to the MCEC the TMAS program is an initiative created to empower military children by using literature and their own stories in a way that fosters skills for resilience, strong peer and parent connections, a sense of pride and accomplishment, and a caring community. The group focuses on children between the ages of four and 12.

Kate Dunbar, the senior Family Readiness Group Leader for the 24th Transportation Battalion, 7th Sustainment Brigade, took part as a facilitator following the reading of the book. The facilitators talked about change with their group of children and encouraged them to share what change meat for them.

"It's been a fun-filled evening of stories, snacks and even snakes, thanks to the folks from the Virginia Living Museum, for the families who came out," said Kate Dunbar. "Military children experience moving and deployments and this is a great way for them to get together and talk about it."

The story Verdi, written by Janell Cannon, and read by Cathy Sterling, was the evening's reading. The book is about a snake that must change its colors. The theme of changing and growing up hits home to military children as they face moves around the world or the change in home environment due to a loved one being deployed and away from home.

Verdi discovers change is not so bad. The theme provides insight to the children that though things on the outside may shift and change, they (the children) are able to remain the same inside.