Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Literacy Heroes Spotlight

USO's United Through Reading Program Helps Separated Military Families Read Together
Cadette Girl Scouts Collect Books Through Book Drives and Food Sales

The literacy nonprofit United Through Reading was established in 1989 with a mission to unite military families facing physical separation by facilitating the bonding experience of reading aloud together. Their vision is that all children will feel the security of caring family relationships and develop a love of reading through the read-aloud experience. 

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. After recording, the USO ships the book and video to the respective soldier's family to read over and over again. 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.

The NCBLA was recently inspired by the story of two 12-year old Girl Scout Cadettes who are collecting books for their Silver project to donate to the United Through Reading station at Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) airport. The pair launched their collection efforts this past spring by asking local stores and restaurants to allow them to place book collection bins. They are also holding baked goods and lemonade sales to raise money to buy additional books. So far the two have collected and donated over 300 books to the program!

United Through Reading will gladly accept new or gently used books for young people aged birth through 18. Their greatest need is for books for young people aged through 14.

If you would like to donate books to support the Maryland girl scouts' project, please ship them directly to the USO office at BWI:

P.O. Box 416
Linthicum, MD 21090

If you would like to make a monetary donation to United Through Reading, visit the Donate page of their website.