United Through Reading
Each issue in this section, the editorial staff of Military Embedded Systems will highlight a different charity that benefits military veterans and their families. We are honored to cover the technology that protects those who protect us every day. To back that up, our parent company – OpenSystems Media – will make a donation to every charity we showcase on this page.
This issue we are highlighting United Through Reading, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to uniting U.S. military families who face physical separation by facilitating the bonding experience of reading aloud together. In more than 200 locations worldwide – available to all deploying military units and at select USO locations – United Through Reading offers military service members the opportunity to be video-recorded reading books to their children at home.
The program, says the organization, aims to help the deployed service member and the child to make powerful connections, aids the deployed military personnel as they try to parent from afar, reassures the child that their parent is safe and thinking of home, and provides support to the parent or caregiver at home.
United Through Reading was founded in 1989 by Betty Mohlenbrock, the wife of a Naval flight surgeon who was deployed when their daughter was a baby. When her husband returned, their daughter didn’t recognize him and it took time to rebuild their bond. Mrs. Mohlenbrock – who was also actually a reading specialist with a master’s degree in education – realized that she could help parents and children stay connected during separations by enabling them to read together using video recordings.
According to the organization, United Through Reading has helped more than two million mothers, fathers, and children to sustain family bonds and build childhood literacy skills by reading stories together across long distances.
For more information, please visit www.unitedthroughreading.org.