United Through Reading (UTR) unites military families who are facing physical separation by facilitating the bonding experience of reading aloud.
At any given time, UTR has more than 200 locations throughout the United States, on Navy and Coast Guard ships, and on military installations overseas where parents who are deployed or preparing for duty-related separation can be video-recorded reading books for their children at home. Once made, these recordings and the book(s) are provided to the children to enjoy over and over again. These simple recordings build emotional connections between far-away parents and their children, reduce stress related to family separation, ease family reintegration upon the military member’s return, and support the literacy development of an at-risk population, military children.
Over 2.4 million military parents, spouses, and children have benefited from the program since its inception in 1989.