Thanks to United Through Reading, a fantastic non-profit dedicated to keeping military families close through literature, for this blog post today! This is not a sponsored post– I just love supporting and sharing organizations that help the military community!
by Kara Dallman, US Navy (Ret), Sr. Director for Development and Strategic Alliance, United Through Reading, and proud military spouse of 20 years
Any military spouse who has been through a deployment knows how tough handling bedtime alone can be. Begging your 3-year-old to stop pouring bath water out onto the bathroom floor, while you’re carting your 6-month-old around on your hip trying to find clean pajamas, and yelling to your 5-year-old waiting for storytime to be patient because for the 18th time — you’re coming!
Well, milspouse, we have a bedtime hack for you that is going to make your evening much, much easier. Enter, United Through Reading, a program that records service members reading bedtime stories on video to their children at home, while the service member is away on deployment or active-duty assignment. The books and recorded stories are sent home to waiting children and eager spouses to make bedtime, naptime, or anytime just a little bit easier.
Here’s three things to love about your new bedtime hack:
- Your kids will love reading.
Having your children read-aloud with their mom or dad who is away does more than just easy the stress of separation; it cultivates a love of reading and encourages early childhood literacy.
- Daddy or Mommy on demand!
Your UTR video provides bedtime story over and over and over again. Your kids now have Mommy or Daddy on demand whenever they are missed and whenever you need a break!
- There’s an app for that!
Thought it is not available yet, UTR recently announced plans to develop a mobile app which will allow military parents pre-record books, or read together over life video chat with the book on each user’s screen.
United Through Reading has been around for 27 years now and the nonprofit has more than 200 locations worldwide where they facilitate this shared reading experience for military families. Some locations are military bases and outposts, some are deployed U.S. Navy ships and U.S. Coast Guard cutters, and some are select USOs. To find one near you, visit unitedthroughreading.org. We’re also on Facebook.