United Through Reading Brings Respite During Coronavirus Crisis

May 28, 2020

The Gilbert family is no stranger to time apart due to deployments and trainings during their time in the Navy. But the COVID-19 crisis presented new challenges.

A four-week planned training was extended to six weeks with the addition of a two week isolation in Navy Lodging prior to leaving. The six weeks then turned to eight when the training was moved two weeks later than originally planned. Underways like this aren’t anything new, but with all the changes and uncertainty because of Coronavirus, they were are all more stressed and on edge. But throughout the isolation and training, United Through Reading kept the family connected, especially important for their 10-year old son.

“My son seldom lets on that he is missing my husband, but his overreactions to normal circumstances and lashing out are indicative of the impact it has on him,” said Kristy.

Her husband Drew borrowed a copy of Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief from a friend to read and record while ordering a copy for their son through the app. Drew recorded himself reading chapters to his son via the UTR app while in isolation and sent them to them.

“These recordings are a ray of sunshine in our little boy’s day of distance learning with a full-time working (from home) mom. Twenty minutes of required independent reading time has stretched into 30+ because of Dad’s videos,” said Kristy. “This time reading, along with his dad, also improves his mood and even opens him up to discuss his feelings, something that he is very reluctant to do. Thanks to United Through Reading, my son is smiling, and I am smiling, watching him read with my hubby! Even my daughters are engaged in my son’s reading journey because of our UTR videos. It is such a good feeling during this crisis.”