12 Literacy Resources for Military Families
August 21, 2023
Because of the unique challenges their lifestyle brings, their school-age children’s educational and literacy development is often a top priority for military families. Fortunately, several organizations and resources are dedicated to supporting these families in fostering strong reading and literacy skills. If you’re a military parent seeking assistance for your child’s literacy journey, look no further!
United Through Reading is proud to partner with many of these organizations on literacy efforts, ensuring military families have access to new books, get tips on how to establish a reading routine, and learn about the United Through Reading App to ensure storytime with a child’s favorite service member or veteran is always possible, no matter the distance.
Read on to learn how these organizations can support your military family.
Armed Services YMCA
ASYMCA has a variety of programs, assistance services, and events to serve military families. From childcare and preschool, Operation Little Learners, Children’s Waiting Room, and Operation Kid Comfort to their resiliency programs for school-age children, ASYMCA aids in supporting active-duty junior enlisted families when they need it most. PS- You can find United Through Reading Story Stations at a number of ASYMCA locations.
Operation Homefront’s Back-to-School Brigade
Operation Homefront’s Back-to-School Brigade equips military children with essential school supplies, including books supplied this year by United Through Reading at many events across the country. Access to age-appropriate reading materials can significantly impact a child’s literacy development and passion for reading.
Sesame Street for Military Families
The Sesame Workshop’s initiative, Sesame Street for Military Families, offers engaging multimedia content that addresses the unique experiences and challenges faced by military children. Their literacy-focused resources help kids develop important skills while also supporting parents and caregivers.
National Military Family Association’s Operation Purple Program
NMFA’s Operation Purple Program offers week-long camps for military children. These camps provide various educational and recreational activities, including literacy programs designed to foster a love for reading and improve comprehension. Additionally, they have ongoing initiatives related to the Interstate Compact and navigating in-state tuition and G.I. Bill benefits for dependents.
DoDEA MWR Virtual Library
DoDEA’s Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) Virtual Library is an online platform accessible to military students worldwide. The library offers a vast selection of digital books and audiobooks, supporting students’ literacy development regardless of their geographical location. While there are resources for all ages, their Children’s Corner offers dozens of databases for educational entertainment, tutoring, reference materials, and coding. We are proud to have sponsored the Army and Navy Summer Reading program in 2023.
Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC)
MCEC is a nonprofit dedicated to helping military children affected by mobility, family separation, and transition thrive. They support all military-connected children by educating, advocating, and collaborating to resolve education challenges associated with the military lifestyle. They believe helping children to succeed within the education system makes them college, career, and life ready.
Reach Out and Read
Reach Out and Read works with medical clinics that serve under-resourced households. Pediatric teams provide children with new developmentally, linguistically, and culturally appropriate books and share literacy advice with parents at each well-child visit. Their Operation Rx for Success for Military Families program is designed to help military families by providing new books and advice from medical providers that specifically address their unique challenges. Reach Out and Read currently has 70 active sites located on military installations in 28 states and internationally, serving children and families at approximately 207,524 well-child visits annually.
RIF’s Literacy Central
Reading Is Fundamental strives to inspire a passion for reading among all children. They provide tools and resources to parents, caregivers, and educators to help children build and maintain their reading skills. They have curated an award-winning digital library that hosts more than 10,000 resources.
OneOp (formerly Military Families Learning Network)
A program supported by the Department of Defense, OneOp offers a wide range of resources, webinars, and workshops focused on educational support for military families. Their Collaborative Connections webinar series covers valuable topics like transitions and building collaboration to support school-aged military children.
Boys and Girls Clubs of America
With numerous locations near military bases, BGCA provides safe and supportive environments for children to learn and grow. Many clubs offer literacy-focused academic success programs and activities that supplement school education and encourage a love for reading.
Military Kids Connect
MKC, an initiative by the Defense Health Agency, provides an array of resources to support military children’s emotional well-being. Their Reading Corner features book recommendations that address common challenges faced by military families, helping children cope with transitions and changes.
Tutor.com offers free online tutoring and homework help to eligible military families. This 24/7 service connects students with qualified tutors in various subjects, including reading and language arts. Older students also benefit from tutoring for college entrance exams. Through interactive sessions, students can get personalized support to improve their literacy skills and boost their confidence.
BONUS FOR FAMILIES WITH BABIES AND TODDLERS
ZERO TO THREE
ZERO TO THREE helps parents, professionals, and policymakers ensure babies and toddlers get a strong start in life. The Military Family Projects Team at ZERO TO THREE works to develop resources and tools that support the health and development of infants, toddlers, and their families.
The journey to literacy is a critical aspect of every child’s education, and US military families have access to a wealth of resources to support their children’s reading development. Whether it’s free tutoring, book distributions, virtual libraries, or educational camps, these ten literacy resources are tailored to meet the specific needs of military children. By making use of these valuable tools, military families can ensure that their school-age children continue to thrive academically and emotionally despite the challenges that military life may bring.