Imagine a service member – perhaps a Sailor, a Soldier, or a Marine. He’s far from home and misses his family. He stops by the United Through Reading recording area near his duty station, chooses a storybook to read to his son, sits in front of the video camera and reads with silly voices that he knows will make his son laugh. Now picture that little boy a few days later at home, transfixed and comforted as his dad reads a bedtime story just as if he were there beside him.
Through these simple stories on video, children see their parent’s face, hear their voice and follow along with the book. Children watch the videos day after day until they have memorized every word, every gesture, every happy ending. And as in many storybooks, magical things happen:
- Children’s anxieties fade
- Service members become part of daily life at home
- Spouses are supported because parenting is shared
- Homecomings begin with children welcoming a familiar parent, not a stranger
- Children learn to love books and reading