Operation Storytime

Operation Storytime

Thanks to a few ingenious members of the United States Military, their families, contributions of noble supporters, and partner organizations, United Through Reading (UTR) was born. Through their free UTR App, deployed service members and Veterans can video record themselves reading a book then send it, along with a free copy of the book, to a child in their life. At story recording stations around the globe, service members create their personalized recording that can be watched on demand whenever they cant be with their children for story time.

United Through Reading strengthens military familiesliteracy, emotional bonds, and well-being through the power of reading together at every age, no matter the distance,” explains Jessica Hall, VP of Marketing and Communications with United Through Reading. In addition to the videos and books sourced for military children, UTR provides literacy guides, reading tips, and customized resources to encourage a reading routine at home and forge a continual connection with family.

Their latest campaign, Operation Storytime, is designed to connect the next million military family members through its four critical missions.

The four missions are focused on how we reach our families and help them start, and maintain, a daily reading routine,” explains Jessica. Mission Read ensures military children are reading every day. Mission Reconnect ensures military families connect through a daily reading routine. Mission Ready ensures that the more reading ready our military families are, the stronger our nation is today and tomorrow. And Mission Reach ensures reading reaches every part of our military community, especially underserved and historically marginalized groups.”

UTR has an extensive booklist of over 400 titles sent to military families around the world. They select their books via recommendations from their partner organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics. According to Jessica, Each book we select has a positive message that reflects our organizations ethos, reflect the diversity of the military community, and are books that we know service members will want to read. The engaging, compelling, and fun stories are sure to resonate with military children.” Their most recent book selected for the military child was Tys Travels: All Aboard by Kelly Starling-Lyons, selected for its engaging story, lovable characters, simple, rhythmic text, and joyful, bright art.

Books, especially for children, can be mirrors that reflect aspects of their identity, like race, culture, gender, and experiences,” explains Jessica. Books transport us. By having diverse books, children enter other worlds and develop understanding and empathy for others.”

New books are regularly added to the UTR App and always include ones with identifiable characters and transporting storylines. They proudly offer books that tell the stories of historically marginalized groups and underserved communities.

We intentionally seek out and offer diverse books to military families—more than 40 percent of the books we offer—always free to military families—feature an author, illustrator, or main character from a diverse background,” says Jessica. By prioritizing diverse books, we nurture a more inclusive, empathetic, and understanding society. This benefits our military families and reflects the broader American ethos that cherishes freedom, diversity, and inclusivity.”

As a nonprofit organization, UTR relies on the generosity of donors to bring their programs to families around the world. In addition to sponsor partnerships and individual support, they hold a Storybook Ball each year to raise awareness and celebrate military families connected through the shared reading experience.

Jessica and her team hope the Books Uplift Community is inspired to start a daily reading routine and share the United Through Reading program with all military and veteran families. If youre inspired by their mission, please be sure to share the App and consider making a $25 donation, which supports one military family using the UTR program, along with a free book.

Images Courtesy of United Through Reading.

, , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Website by John Wierenga