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.

Our founder was a reading specialist and knew firsthand the importance of exposing children to literature from birth. Thus, a powerful concept emerged.

Now, 30 years later, UTR still stands strong — and proven deployment after deployment. More than two million military mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, older siblings, and children have sustained bonds and fostered literacy by sharing stories across even the greatest distances.

Our Mission:

Together, we unite military families facing physical separation by facilitating the bonding experience of reading aloud.

Our Vision:

A nation of resilient families with a shared love for reading.

Give to Military Families


United Through Reading is recognized as a Guidestar Platinum Seal of Transparency Participant and is rated a 4-star Charity Navigator Rating.