United Through Reading Launches Operation Storytime with Book for the Military Child

April 4, 2023

The goal of Operation Storytime is to reach 1 million military family members through the shared bond of reading aloud.

SAN DIEGO (April 4, 2023) — United Through Reading is celebrating Month of the Military Child this April with the launch of Operation Storytime, a major national initiative. The new campaign will provide meaningful opportunities for service members who are on military assignment to stay connected to their children through impactful reading aloud experiences, no matter the distance. Operation Storytime, made possible in part by a $1 million pledge from the Reader’s Digest Foundation, is a three-year campaign with the goal of reaching 1 million military families through four distinct literacy missions.

“Reading together is one of the most important things any family can do, and military families often sacrifice that time due to service to our country. By supporting United Through Reading’s Operation Storytime, we at the Reader’s Digest Foundation can help the next million military family members maintain their reading routine, no matter the distance,” said Bonnie Kintzer, President and CEO of Trusted Media Brands and Chairman of the Reader’s Digest Foundation.

Book for the Military Child

The initial focus for Operation Storytime is Book for the Military Child. United Through Reading will rally the entire military community around reading the same book to unite and celebrate military children across the globe. The Kissing Hand, by famous children’s author, Audrey Penn is this year’s inaugural book. The book’s heartwarming message centers around family connectedness. Over 13,000 copies of The Kissing Hand will be distributed to military families through more than 400 United Through Reading Story Stations around the world.

Book for the Military Child will be an annual endeavor during Month of the Military Child. The campaign kickoff will be held at Carter’s headquarters in Atlanta. Carter’s Charitable Foundation is supporting distribution of 5,000 copies of the Book for the Military Child, and Carter’s employees will be preparing those books for distribution. Carter’s, Inc. is the largest branded marketer of young children’s apparel in North America.

Operation Storytime
With the goal of reaching 1 million military family members, Operation Storytime is a three-year campaign comprised of four distinct literacy missions:

  1. Mission READ will ensure that military children read every day, benefiting from improved language development and emotional wellbeing.
  2. Mission RECONNECT will ensure military families connect through reading every day, helping them bond and stay in consistent contact in healthy ways.
  3. Mission READY will ensure that the more reading ready military families are, the stronger our nation is today and tomorrow.
  4. Mission REACH will ensure reading reaches historically marginalized groups within the military community, making United Through Reading accessible to all military families.

“Operation Storytime will help children read every day, unite military families, enable us to impact underserved members of the military community, and support our service members and our nation,” said Tim Farrell, CEO, United Through Reading. “We have always been focused on making significant, lifelong impacts in a military child’s life in beautiful, emotional and unexpected ways.”

The Department of Defense (DoD) honors military children during the month of April through Month of the Military Child. Each year, the DoD joins national, state and local government, schools, military serving organizations, companies and private citizens in celebrating military children and the sacrifices they make. United Through Reading is honored to support military children every day, and is highlighting this support by kicking-off Operation Storytime during month of the military child.

United Through Reading’s launch of Book for the Military Child and the three-year Operation Storytime campaign are demonstrative of the organization’s ongoing commitment to facilitate the bonding experience of shared storytime between distant serving military members and their loved ones. Through video-recorded bedtime stories, United Through Reading helps military children feel loved, setting them up for emotional, social and educational success. In 2022, United Through Reading served 343,968 military family members through their free app, 417 story stations around the world and at over 500 events.

About United Through Reading

United Through Reading keeps military families reading ready, no matter the distance between them. Families stay connected through storytime video recordings and books sent to military families. These stories ease the stress of time apart due to military duty, maintain positive emotional connections and cultivate a love of reading and early childhood literacy. Service members and veterans can record a story for their family at more than 400 United Through Reading recording locations worldwide, as well as on their mobile device with our free and secure reading app. Since 1989, over 3 million military family members have benefited from the program. Learn more at unitedthroughreading.org.