Finding New Ways to Use UTR
July 30, 2021
The Cheesemans have four children: Riley, 12; Mackenzie, 9; Jaxton, 7; and Corbin, 3. Kelly says of her kids, “they love to read, but they’re not really strong with it.” They started using the UTR app as a way to help build confidence and ability as readers. Initially, Kelly made videos and her kids would follow along reading the books to her recordings. Then her children, particularly Mackenzie and Jaxton, started making their own recordings.
In short order, the family started noticing a difference from both watching and making videos, especially Mackenzie. Reading the stories on her own, out loud with the app, made Mackenzie more certain of her reading skills and brought her out of her shell in the classroom. “The teacher was saying how Mackenzie’s confidence was boosted,” says Kelly. “She started to volunteer to read out loud in school.”
The Cheeseman family particularly likes participating in UTR’s Reading Challenges through the app. Kelly says, “My kids are really competitive, so the challenges are really helpful.” They could make 30 videos in the span of a couple of months, which kept her kids engaged and reading. Kelly also appreciated the range of books available: “I think the book selection is really diverse,” she says, “so sometimes I’ll request a random book that I’ve never heard of, so it brings diversity to our bookshelf.”
Kelly now volunteers with UTR handing out free books to military families at local library events in her home of Middletown, Delaware. “I found value in it even though my husband is not in the military anymore, so I’m sure other families will find value in it,” she says.