1. "United Through Reading" is a non-profit organization that lets deployed family members "read aloud" to their young loved ones at home.
3. Deployed service members are recorded reading a book aloud and the DVD (or VHS tape in the organization's early days) is sent to his or her family.
5. Children follow along with their own book as they watch — if they're not too excited.
7. The videos help separated families maintain connections during deployment — caregivers at home are encouraged to tape reaction videos of the children as they watch and send them back to the service members.
9. “This program has had an incredible impact on our lives," the spouse of a deployed serviceman explains. "Our daughter watches her videos every day and loves them. She reads along with her daddy and dances to his singing."
11. "Without this program, many children would not know their deployed parent upon their return.”
13. Any service member with a young child in their family can use the program — aunts, uncles, grandparents, godparents and siblings send back videos along with parents.
15. After all, no matter the age, every child loves hearing stories from their family.
United Through Reading® is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) public benefit organization whose mission is to "unite military families facing physical separation by facilitating the bonding experience of reading aloud together." Learn more about the program and how you can help.
Ellie Hall is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC. Her secure PGP fingerprint is 6055 A264 DADD AADC 347E 5986 547C C11C DD7D 176A.
Contact Ellie Hall at email@example.com.
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