At United Through Reading we are focused on keeping military families connected, which means we encourage military families to use a range of tools for this purpose, such as video chat, email, social media, and phone calls. We also know that there are challenges associated with these tools as well, which is why we encourage using all of these tools alongside United Through Reading recordings.
Why? Because a United Through Reading video-recording is always:
RELIABLE when internet connections aren't
REPEATABLE for kids to watch again and again
ACCESSIBLE to children at any time they need their service member
United Through Reading helps service members overcome the following challenges, such as it is hard to sync schedules from far away time zones, and not always having access to a strong, reliable internet connection, sometimes for months at a time.
"With Skype, we had to work around schedules, and it was hard to get times that worked for the two of us and our daughter due to the time zone differences (early morning, late nights, etc.). The UTR video recordings are something we can use at any time, on any day." – Army Spouse
Even when families can overcome the difference in time zones and schedules align, young children don't always have the attention span needed to focus on video chat.
"UTR made me feel like it kept him connected to us a bit more. As I said, my son didn't really understand Facetime and wasn't too interested in the live part of talking to Dad so much. But he stays connected to him through the UTR videos. They keep the family reading tradition going and it is just good for our son to see and hear his dad regularly. I think that helped a lot. Especially at that young age where he doesn't really understand why dad is gone."
– Army Spouse
And, as much as service members would like to establish a schedule for reaching their loved ones, their missions in a combat zone or operational activities may not allow them because of time and safety reasons.
“Our son was 2 1/2 almost 3 at the time and he loved it. He was so excited to watch Daddy read him a story every night. It really helped since my husband was
n't deployed in an area where he could not use the internet very often for security reasons. It was also nice for me when I needed to hear his voice or just see his face. It's definitely a great program and something we will treasure forever!” - Marine Corps Spouse
Having United Through Reading recordings on hand means that children can spend quality time with their loved one anytime they want, on their schedule.