Frequently Asked Questions

What is United Through Reading?

Founded in 1989 by Betty J. Mohlenbrock, M.Ed., United Through Reading is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) public benefit organization whose mission is to unite families facing physical separation by facilitating the bonding experience of reading aloud together. United Through Reading was the nation’s first nonprofit to promote the read aloud experience for separated military families.

Who does United Through Reading serve?

The Military Program is available to deployed service members and their families around the world. 

How many people has United Through Reading served?

Since its founding, over 1.5 million children, parents and other caring adults have participated.

How does United Through Reading differ from other literacy organizations?

  • We provide the read aloud experience to separated military families so that children may also feel the emotional bonding.
  • We take a preventive approach to the problem of illiteracy by focusing on reading aloud at an early age.
  • We focus on parents and caregivers as our most important adults to promote the read aloud experience in homes.
  • We help nurture a love of reading in children in their very early years through reading aloud.
  • We are cost-effective though the use of volunteers and replicable program models.

Why is the work of United Through Reading so important?

Reading aloud with children is a powerful educational tool which nurtures the self-esteem of children, instills the joy of reading at an early age, and strengthens the bond children need with their families while preparing them for academic success. Research shows that reading aloud to children appears to be the single most important activity for building earliest emergent reading skills. Aside from the clear emotional benefits, these alarming literacy profiles further make the case for our work:

  • Only half of all infants and toddlers are routinely read to by their parents. 1
  • One in three American kindergartners arrives in school unprepared to learn. 1
  • 25% of high school graduates read below the 8th grade level. 2
  1. The Carnegie Corporation of New York, (1994). Starting Points, Meeting the Needs of Our Youngest Children
  2.  Richard C. Anderson and others (1984). Becoming a Nation of Readers: The Report on the Commission on Reading

How is United Through Reading funded?

Support for United Through Reading comes primarily from private sources. Almost all of our funding comes from individuals, family foundations, nonprofits and civic groups and corporations and over 80% of the funds go directly to program expenses. We’ve received the highest possible rating, four stars, from Charity Navigator, for five consecutive years, and we are proud members of the Combined Federal Campaign and the Better Business Bureau.

How can I participate in United Through Reading?

The vision of United Through Reading is that all children will feel the security of caring family relationships and develop a love of reading through the read aloud experience. If you would like to donate or if you are interested in volunteering, please feel free to contact us at 858-481-7323 or at