Imagine a service member, exhausted from the demanding routine of the day, separated from family back home, as he heads to a small room with walls lined with books and a video-camera waiting. It's the command's United Through Reading location.
There is a trained volunteer ready to help so that he can read a storybook to his son, niece or grandchild. Picture that service member picking up a copy of Guess How Much I Love You, by Sam McBratney, and settling into a chair to read aloud, taking time to parent, mentor, or simply have a few moments of normalcy in an otherwise hectic environment.
United Through Reading makes this scenario a reality for military families all over the world. The 26 year old nonprofit works to unite military families who are separated either by deployment, or other physical distances, through the bonding experience of reading aloud together.
United Through Reading offers service members the opportunity to be video-recorded reading children's books to their families at home. The videos and books are sent home to their families to help bridge even the greatest distances. United Through Reading has nearly 200 recording stations across the world -- on Navy ships, in civilian airports, on military bases at home and overseas, and in 48 USO host sites.
Want to get involved? Easy. Here are five steps to get your family reading aloud together.
1. Head to the UTR website.
Visit United Through Reading's website to get started.
2. Find out where to make your UTR video.
Click on the Current Program Location list to find out where the closest United Through Reading recording location or library is located. With several permanent recording sites around the country, we're likely to have one in your area.
3. Bring United Through Reading to you.
Don't see a location where you are? No problem. United Through Reading can establish a recording location in your area. Contact your National Program Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
4. Learn more by watching video.
Watch the video to learn more about United Through Reading and how the program can benefit your family -- including making homecomings easier, easing the stress of separation for parent and child, and encouraging early childhood literacy and language skills.
5. Stay connected
Questions? You can always get in touch with us at email@example.com. Our National Program managers are ready to help.