USO and United Through Reading® celebrate special connections
Arlington, Va. (November 19, 2012) – In dozens of USO Centers, across multiple time zones worldwide, the USO and United Through Reading® will commemorate 250,000 recordings with a 24 hour Read Around the World day. The USO’s partnership with United Through Reading began in 2006 and affords deployed parents the opportunity to be video-recorded reading storybooks to their children, which eases the stress of separation. The USO ships the recording and a copy of the book to the troop’s family back home. The family is encouraged to take photos of their children watching the recording and mail those back to their deployed service member to complete the circle of communication.
“Knowing that your child back home can see your face and hear your voice, following along while you read them a story, is a priceless connection that we are proud to be a part of,” said USO President and CEO Sloan Gibson. “The United Through Reading’s Military Program has a powerful impact and promotes lasting connections for families separated by deployment.”
United Through Reading, the nation’s first nonprofit to promote the read-aloud experience for military families, has been supporting our nation’s military since their founding in 1989. When a deployed mom or dad sits down and reads a book it brings back a sense of normalcy, relieving stress for those families at home.
“We like to call each DVD Mommy or Daddy ‘on demand’ because any time children miss their deployed parent they can pop in the DVD and see their parent read a story book,” said Sally Ann Zoll, Ed. D., chief executive officer of United Through Reading. “The morale of the whole family is boosted. United Through Reading is proud to celebrate the 250,000th DVD recording made at a USO location.”
The public can follow the progress of the day on uso.org, facebook and twitter. Read Around the World will kick-off in Japan on November 19th 5pm EST and end on the West Coast of the United States 24 hours later. During this time, the USO is asking deployed parents to visit a USO Center to record a reading as well as asking military families to share their favorite United Through Reading memories, books and photos with the country on the USO and United Through Reading facebook and twitter pages using the hashtag #ReadAroundtheWorld.
United Through Reading and the USO have also partnered with Google to show how Google+ Hangouts can be used as another way for military families to stay connected when dispersed around the globe. The public can watch a deployed Dad stationed in the Pacific as he connects to his family in Hawaii via Google+ Hangout. Click here to see the video.
United Through Reading can be found at nearly 200 recording locations worldwide including more than 70 USO Centers. The 250,000 United Through Reading’s Military Program recordings is part of the 1.5 million beneficiaries that United Through Reading has served since their founding.
About the USO
The USO (United Service Organizations) lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases in the U.S. and abroad, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors and their families and the families of the fallen.
The USO is a private, nonprofit organization, not a government agency. All of our programs and services are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff. In addition to individual donors and corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by President’s Circle Partners: American Airlines, AT&T, Clear Channel, The Coca-Cola Company, jcpenney, Kangaroo Express, Kroger, Lowe’s, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Procter & Gamble, and TriWest Healthcare Alliance and Worldwide Strategic Partners: BAE Systems, The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation and TKS Telepost Kabel-Service Kaiserslautern GmbH & Co. KG. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this patriotic mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit uso.org.
About United Through Reading
Founded in 1989, United Through Reading is the nation’s first nonprofit to promote the read-aloud experience for separated military families. United Through Reading offers deployed parents the opportunity to be video-recorded reading storybooks to their children which eases the stress of separation, maintains positive emotional connections and cultivates a love of reading. At nearly 200 recording locations worldwide, Marines, Soldiers and Sailors, National Guard, Reservists and Airmen, can read to their children from units on ships, in tents in Afghanistan, on bases and installations around the world and at 70 USO centers worldwide. Over one and a half million military parents, spouses and children have benefited from the program since its inception.