The American Legion’s Child Welfare Foundation awarded United Through Reading of San Diego a $31,000 grant for the dissemination of books to military children to help maintain literacy and critical bonds between children and their deployed parent. The grant provided 10,698 books last year to U.S. military children across 21 states (including Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico) and on military installations in Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, South Korea and Spain. And thanks to supporters like CWF, United Through Reading broke their book distribution records in 2021.
“We could tell by the smiles on their faces that the children loved receiving books to take home for story time with their families,” shared Carol Macrander, lead director of grant development for United Through Reading.
In total, 46,000 new, high-quality children’s books were distributed last year by United Through Reading to support family reading routines.
For 32 years, United Through Reading has connected military families by recording a deployed servicemember reading a story and then sending the video and book home to their child(ren). The mission of United Through Reading is to "keep military families reading together, no matter the distance between them. Families stay connected through video recordings of story time and books, sent to military families to help ease the stress of separation, maintain positive emotional connections, and cultivate a love of reading and early childhood literacy."
Veterans also can use the program through its mobile reading app. The app lets veterans have access to virtual story time with their children, grandchildren or other loved ones. So a veteran can record themselves reading an e-book anytime, anywhere, and send to the recipient to watch on demand when they can’t be together in person.