A new program uses technology to close the distance between deployed personnel and their families.
United Through Reading, also known as UTR, launched the Story Station application to give service members a tool to read to their children from any location. For over 30 years the organization has provided the community with access to the time-honored tradition of story time, even when a work commitment prevents loved ones from being co-located. In an effort to keep up with technology, UTR has transitioned from VHS tapes and DVDs to a cloud-based application.
The Story Station app is available now on the Google Play and Apple stores.
Kurt Schwend, senior director of operations and technology, says the organization started to explore an online delivery option five years ago in order to create a more flexible product for service members.
“… so there’s two parts there that I think are going to be really helpful to the service members: one is it’s now available to service members who aren’t near or can’t make it to one of our recording sites, so it expands our reach and the availability to service members,” he said. “The story once recorded and posted is now available anytime, anywhere instantly. It can’t get lost in the mail or on a device that can be lost or misplaced.”
Families will also be able to share the reading with multiple children, extended family members or whoever else they want to see it.
Schwend adds UTR sees the app as a tool for strengthening today’s military families.
“Families that communicate and that spend time together and read together are more resilient. They just build more effective and cohesive families and of course it promotes literacy,” he said.
To use UTR’s Story Station Application:
- LOGIN: Register with www.ID.me “Troop ID” to log in.
- SELECT A BOOK FOR A CHILD YOU LOVE from UTR’s curated booklist.
- ADD + TO BEGIN: Take of photo of the book’s cover and enter the title and description.
- READ: Press record and read the book aloud.
- SAVE: Finish recording then save your file.
- SHARE: Select the checkmark to share your recording via email.
- PREP: Select the checkmark to move your recording to the upload tab.
- UPLOAD: Navigate to the upload tab, select the upload cloud to upload your recording.
- VIEW: Go to www.utrapp.org to log in and view your UTR video.
United Through Reading, which was founded in 1989, has served over two million military families, according to Jessica Hall, director of marketing and communication.
Go to United Through Reading to learn more about programs and how reading strengthens the home front.Read comments