Government & Organizations
Ep: 60 Reading Through Deployment
Deployments and frequent separations can take a toll on the bond between service member and child. Now we have a wealth of opportunities to keep that connection alive and well through technology. In this special episode for Month of the Military Child, I talk to two military spouses and former military kids about United Through Reading and how families can stay connected through reading (one of my favorite topics)!
As a member of the Operations team, Molly facilitates program distribution and implementation to Army and National Guard Commands nationwide. Through dissemination of the program across commands, she maximizes the number of Soldiers benefitting from the program in order to ultimately increase connections for military families affected by service related separation. A licensed, certified Speech Language Pathologist, Molly received her Masters of Science in Communication, Speech, and Hearing Disorders from East Carolina University. She has practiced in her field for ten years and finds the development of early childhood literacy skills a specific area of interest. As an active duty military spouse of 16 years, Molly’s experiences stem from volunteering and leading military family support programs, and she understands the direct benefits these programs provide to her own family during her husband’s multiple deployments. Molly’s husband remains on active duty and they reside in Alexandria, VA with their two children.
United Through Reading connects military families who are separated —for deployment or military assignment—by providing the bonding experience of shared storytime. United Through Reading (UTR) was founded in 1989 by the wife of a Naval flight surgeon who deployed to Vietnam leaving his infant daughter at home. When the surgeon returned home, his little girl didn’t know him and he had to re-enter her life as a stranger. The founder was a reading specialist and knew firsthand the importance of exposing children to literature from birth. Thus, a powerful concept emerged. Now, 29 years later, UTR still stands strong — and proven deployment after deployment. More than two million military mothers, fathers, and children have sustained bonds and fostered literacy by sharing stories across even the greatest distances.
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