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Reading Matters

United Through Reading helps ease deployments

What is this organization about? United Through Reading (UTR), a nonprofit organization, eases the fear, uncertainty and anxiety felt by children in military families by offering military parents who are away from their families the opportunity to be video-recorded reading storybooks aloud to their children at home.

Today, service members can read from 200 recording locations, which include 70 participating USOs and individual commands or units deployed around the globe. Nearly 200,000 beneficiaries were served in 2013.

How do I know this program works?
Survey research among UTR participants shows:
*More than 70 percent said that the recordings reduced their children's anxiety about the deployment
*Nearly 90 percent said that the recordings helped the service member feel connected
*More than 75 percent reported that their child's interest in reading increased

Who is this program for?
Any service member who is separated from his or her family for duty.

What are the program costs?
*Costs United Through Reading covers: Training, program support, promotional materials, onsite children's library of 25 classic titles, 100 DVDs and mailers, books for participants, and, in some cases, equipment donations.
*Cost to a military unit of 500: Less than $1 per Soldier on average which includes the purchase of equipment, additional consumables (mailers, DVDs), and postage to mail the packages home.

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