Sioux Center, Iowa --
This week in honor of Veteran’s Day, Iowa Air National Guard pilot, Capt. Andrew Ter Haar was invited to be a special guest reader as part of the Sioux Center, Iowa Community Library Story Time.
As a guest reader Ter Haar, who is a resident of Sioux Center, choose to read Mission Complete Air Force…, Go to Sleep, to the group of preschool age children which included his own children.
“Our goal is to encourage early literacy,” said Twila De Groot who works as a children’s librarian. “We want our preschoolers to have positive experiences with books and encourage lifelong reading,” she added.
According to De Groot, the library program’s aim this year is to encourage positive interactions with community helpers. De Groot explained that the library Story Times have been celebrating community helpers like police officers and fighter fighters. The programmers also wanted to include members of the military.
The story time program this year has included different emphases like music and science, as well as seasonal themes. This November the children’s librarians wanted to honor the service of military veterans and those who are still serving.
“We want to encourage positive attitudes toward all our community helpers,” De Groot added. “We should be grateful for everyone who serves our community.”
As a member of the Iowa Air National Guard, Ter Haar said he is able to work as a pilot with the 185th Air Refueling Wing in nearby Sioux City, Iowa while also raising his family and working in his home town of Sioux Center.
“It is a great place to live and raise a family, ” said Ter Haar. “I like that I’m able to live at home and still do all the required training.”
The book Mission Complete Air Force, Go to Sleep that Ter Haar read is a brilliantly illustrated children’s book co-authored by military pilot, Wolf Anderson and Samantha Beaty.
The book features aircraft like “Globey” a reference to the C-17 Globemaster and “Herc” a nickname given to the U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules. The book also features a KC-135 refueling aircraft, the same aircraft flown by Ter Haar.
Ter Haar said he likes the book because it is a book that an Air Force pilot had written for his children.
“I like this particular book because it is accurate to the mission that each aircraft performs,” Ter Haar said.
During the Story Time the kids also listened to the book My Daddy is a Hero, by Hannah Tolson. In My Daddy is a Hero, the authors detailed a variety of jobs that members of the military do each day.
Before the story time was over the kids did some calisthenics and marched around the room, of course with their left foot first. The library programmers wrapped up the morning's activities by having the kids make cards that will be given to area veterans.