By Teri Vance

Nevada Army National Guard Lt. Timothy Baird told children at the Carson City Library some of the perks of his job.

“One of the great benefits of being in the military is education,” he said. “I’m actively right now finishing my master’s in education. It’s all being paid for by the National Guard. It’s a great opportunity when you get older.”

Baird’s visit was part of the Carson City Library’s Summer Reading Program’s Every Hero has a Story. It featured appearances from community heroes, including police, firefighters and National Guard.
“They come in and talk about what they do,” said Heather Butler, youth services librarian. “It’s for all ages. The kids realize the importance and value of having these heroes in our community. For some of the teens, they may be interested in a career and can find out more about it.”

Savanah Guzman, 8, has been a regular.
“I just like to come and listen to the stories and see people,” she said. “I like to meet the heroes and learn about the community.”

Participants sign up and track hours spent reading at the website.

“It’s important kids keep reading in the summer so they start off strong in the fall,” said Heather Butler, youth services librarian. “This bridges the gap.”

While the reading program focused on youth in the past, this year it was open to adults as well. Age categories begin at ages 0-4 for listening; kindergarten-fifth grade kids; sixth-12th grade teens and 13 and above as adults.

“When parents are reading with their children, it gives them the opportunity to connect,” said Sena Loyd, library director. “It also provides a recreation experience for adults. Prizes for adults include tickets for the V&T train and to the Nevada State Museum.”
During his visit, Baird demonstrated how to don the gear of the chemical protective suit.

For Daniel Ramirez, 11, that was the best part.
“I like how they passed things around, like the gas mask and everything,” he said. “They let us see the gear, and they talked to us about what they do in their jobs.”