Reader’s Digest Foundation Supports Military Families With $125,000 Donation to United Through Reading

November 1, 2016

SAN DIEGO, CA – November 1, 2016 – Reader’s Digest Foundation awards United Through Reading (UTR) with a $125,000 grant to offer U.S. military family members the opportunity to stay connected through video-recorded bedtime stories while separated by deployment, training, or active-duty assignment. The grant is part of the four year R.E.A.D. Together campaign launched by Reader’s Digest Foundation in 2014, which promotes the benefits of parent involvement in childhood literacy.

“Due to deployments and other separations caused by a military lifestyle, there are as many as 40 million bedtime stories missed each year by military parents and children,” said UTR’s CEO, Sally Ann Zoll, Ed.D. “This very generous grant from Reader’s Digest Foundation allows UTR to continue our mission to save some of those missed bedtime stories by helping military parents nurture and encourage their children’s literacy skills through the act of reading aloud even when it’s from a distance.”

As part of the R.E.A.D. Together campaign, the Reader’s Digest Foundation has committed to provide a combination of financial and marketing assistance promoting parent involvement in childhood literacy, which has shown to be one of the most crucial interventions for academic and career success. The campaign — which stands for Read, Engage, Advance, Develop and Together — emphasizes the importance of parents and other caregivers as children’s first teachers, and commits $1 million to promote childhood literacy. The $125,000 grant given to UTR is a part of this campaign, and the funds will be used to support their work to ensure that military parents understand the importance of reading to their children from an early age while making it possible for them to do so, despite deployments and other challenging separations.

“Reader’s Digest Foundation knows parent and caregiver involvement in the early development of a child’s reading skills has been shown to be one of the most crucial interventions for a child’s high school and career success,” said Paul Gillow, President, Reader’s Digest Foundation. “We are so pleased to support United Through Reading’s important mission to promote this role for military service members and their children, giving them every opportunity to encourage early literacy, despite separations that might make that difficult.”


United Through Reading is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) public benefit organization that has been around for more than 25 years; it’s mission is to unite military families facing physical separation by facilitating the bonding experience of reading aloud together. United Through Reading offers service members the opportunity to be video-recorded reading storybooks to children at home which eases the stress of separation, maintains positive emotional connections, and cultivates a love of reading and early childhood literacy. At more than 200 recording locations worldwide, service members can read to the children who are special to them on military bases and outposts, deployed U.S. Navy ships, U.S. Coast Guard cutters and at select USOs. Since its inception, nearly 2 million military parents, spouses and children have benefited from the program.


Reader’s Digest Foundation, started in 1938, is dedicated to improving children’s literacy and educational success, and to empowering Trusted Media Brands (formerly the Reader’s Digest Association) employees to give back and volunteer in their communities. Reader’s Digest Foundation provides family literacy grants through its R.E.A.D. Together program and supports the good works of Trusted Media Brands employees through a Matching Gift and Volunteer Incentive Program. The Foundation also partners with nonprofits to create workplace opportunities for employees to volunteer their time and share their expertise.