The United Through Reading App is available free to service members, Veterans, and their families. It was designed with security protocols to ensure the safety of military personnel who may be serving in conflict zones as well as their families.
The App allows service members to video record stories on their mobile devices for children to view during periods of family separation. Caregivers receive an email link to view the recording online or download to their devices. Books can be requested and sent for free to the families so the children can read along with the recording, further supporting language and literacy development.
Since its launch in May 2019, 2,885 stories have been video-recorded via the App, keeping service members part of children’s storytime routine.
Said one Navy service member: “My wife encouraged me to make recordings with the App prior to deployment. Our kids have watched a video of me reading to them every night.”
From 2019 Independent research, the following numbers tell the story:
100% – children, regardless of age, enjoyed watching the recordings
95% – UTR reduced stress and anxiety in their child(ren)
90% – children’s love of reading increased since watching the recordings
88% – children’s behavior improved after participating in the program
84% – children’s language and literacy skills improving since watching their UTR recordings
83% – UTR benefited families by keeping the military member as part of the family routine
80% – children’s overall academic development/performance improved after participating in the UTR program
71% – the program positively impacted their child(ren)’s interest in STEM Topics.