United Through Reading Named Recipient of 2015 Library of Congress Literacy Award

October 27, 2015

San Diego (October 27, 2015) – San Diego based nonprofit, United Through Reading®, has been selected to receive the 2015 American Prize of the Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program, awarding the nonprofit $50,000. United Through Reading has been selected for having made a significant and measurable contribution to increasing literacy levels and the national awareness of the importance of literacy.

United Through Reading’s mission is to connect service members who are separated from their families due to deployment, training, or active-duty assignment, to their families at home through the act of reading aloud. Service members are video recorded at nearly 200 locations worldwide reading children’s books to the special kids in their life. Those videos are sent home, along with a new book, so that military children have access to their service member whenever they need them, despite the distance.

“We are truly honored to have received the American Prize from the Library of Congress Literacy Awards,” said United Through Reading Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Sally Ann Zoll. “United Through Reading — our board, staff, volunteers and donors — work very hard to ensure that every military child can benefit from the read-aloud experience, as we know the impact it can have on early literacy development and growth. We’re proud that this award corroborates our work supporting our military community and alleviating the literacy challenges our society faces.”

United Through Reading creates a unique read-aloud opportunity for military families who may otherwise struggle to continue their tradition of shared story time during the physical separations caused bydeployments and other military assignments. Program participants have experienced significant benefits through this program, with over 75 percent of surveyed participants reporting that the program increases their child’s interest in reading and books.

Other 2015 Library of Congress Literacy Award recipients include First Book and Beanstalk. Through the generosity of David M. Rubenstein, the Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program honors organizations that have made outstanding contributions to increasing literacy in the United States or abroad. The awards also encourage the continuing development of innovative methods for combating illiteracy and the wide dissemination of the most effective practices. They are intended to draw public attention to the continuing need for literacy services and to increase awareness of the importance of literacy. By recognizing current achievements, the awards seek to inspire organizations, foundations, and other private sector groups to become involved in combating illiteracy.

About United Through Reading

United Through Reading is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) public benefit organization established 26 years ago; its 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 nearly 200 recording locations worldwide, service members can read to the children who are special to them from units on ships, in tents in Afghanistan, on bases around the world, and at more than 40 USO centers worldwide. Since its inception, more than 2 million military parents, spouses and children have benefited from the program.