Story Hour with First Responders

Has your library featured community helpers in storytime programs?

Storytimes featuring hometown heroes bring communities together to support literacy.

Library story hours are a treasured tradition in many communities. They represent an opportunity for members of local organizations to interact with the city’s youth in a way that promotes literacy and curiosity.

What you may not know is that these story hours are hosted by a number of different organizations. Some of which are directly tied to the health and safety of their surrounding community. Attending them can not only be a great chance for children to hear a new story and work on their reading and listening skills but also meet and learn about a member of an organization that is important to their well-being.

First responders often hold story hours in their local communities. Libraries love hosting local firefighters, police officers, and paramedics to read to and interact with the city’s youth.

In Prince William County, Virginia, on World Read Aloud Day, Officer Raleigh Harris entertained a group of students with a story about a boy who learns how to solve Rubik’s Cubes. Officer Harris even brought a Rubik’s Cube and demonstrated how to solve it to the students as part of the story hour!   


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The police chief of San Jose, California, Anthony Mata, recently held the Read to Succeed event in his community’s library. The event focused on teaching children to read and promoting positive interactions between them and their local police officers. In Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the public library hosted a similar event that even featured arts and crafts.

Firefighters are also well represented in story hours around the country.

The fire chief in Moniteau County, California, held a story hour for preschoolers who got to listen to the story Fire Truck is Flashing, then climb inside a fire truck afterward. La Vergne Public Libraries in Tennessee recently hosted a firefighter storytime featuring a chance for the youth attending to see the firefighters’ equipment and trucks.

Even EMTs and paramedics do these events!

Barrie County, California, public libraries had members of the South Simcoe Paramedics team read to children, who then got to tour an ambulance. Montauk Libraries hold a Hometown Heroes Storytime regularly, and they recently highlighted a community paramedic, Aubrie Izzo, who did a reading for local children.


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And that’s the thing—these events happen often! In many libraries, they are a regular occurrence and are a great opportunity to meet your local heroes!

Here is one in Davidson, North Carolina, hosted by the Davidson City Police Department at the local libraries this summer! The Spring Township Library in Berks County, Pennsylvania, has one with a firefighter coming up. This one with a paramedic in Allen County, Indiana, is only a few days away.

These events happen all the time, all over the country. Libraries love their first responders and local hometown heroes. They invite them to read to children often, and the experience is an invaluable one.

Want to attend one? Check with your community library to see if there is a storytime coming up! If you are interested in your library hosting this kind of event, but there is not one on the calendar, see if they have a spot on their website to suggest it.

Giving children the opportunity to interact with their community caretakers and safety officers while promoting literacy and curiosity is a fantastic way to bring a community together!



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