United through reading is an organization dedicated to connecting military families facing physical separation by facilitating the bonding experience of reading aloud together.
The organization offers military service members who are away from home the opportunity to be video-recorded reading storybooks to the children in their lives, creating positive emotional connections and a love of reading. UTR is available to all military branches and units including the Coast Guard and all Reserve components. UTR is also hosted at select USO site and has served more than two million beneficiaries since 1989,
Benefits to military children:
Each UTR video can bring essential emotional support to children:
- Offers reassurance when they see their service members' faces, hear their voices, and know they are safe.
- Provides time together to continue or establish a storytime routine
- An opportunity for babies to hear the voice of someone who loves them and begin the bonding process
- A happy homecoming because mom, dad, an aunt, an uncle, or an older sibling is a familiar hero, not a stranger
Quote from experience:"Reading to children improves family relationships, reduces, stress, and promotes resiliency. In fact, parents reading daily to their children may be one of the greatest protective factors for families during deployment." -Dr. (Lt. Col.) Eric Flake, U.S. Air Force., Former Chief of Developmental Behavior