United Through Reading Benefits Sailors and their Families in Groton
GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- Submariners stationed at Naval Submarine Base New London and their families are benefiting from participating in the United Through Reading program.
Founded in 1989, the United through Reading program allows deployed Sailors to record themselves reading books to their children to watch. In Groton, the United Through Reading program was launched in January 2012 to connect submariners and their families.
Electronics Technician Second Class (SS) Christopher Bulzone, assigned to USS Providence (SSN 719), participated in the program to further foster his six-year old son's passion for reading.
"I think more people should take advantage of this program," said Bulzone. "One it's educational, and two, this is a way for my son and I to connect through reading while I'm on deployment."
Wimberly Kneisler, National Program Manager, Navy - East reflected on how Sailors like Bulzone stay connected with their families.
"Service members who participate in United Through Reading stay connected to their families during deployment in a unique way. Recording stories on DVD, for families to play over and over, enables service members an opportunity to parent from a distance," said Kneisler.
Kneisler added that by participating in the program, Sailors are remaining an integral part of their children's lives.
"You're fostering a love of reading, enriching imagination, and staying connected to your children," said Kneisler.
Kneisler added that Sailors who don't have children can still participate in the program by volunteering to read at local schools.
"United Through Reading also offers service members, without children of their own, an opportunity to become active in the community by reading to local classrooms," said Kneisler.
Bulzone agreed with Kneisler and added that this program is a perfect fit for his family especially since his wife started reading to their son when she was pregnant and has continued throughout his early childhood, which has produced amazing dividends.
"As soon as I saw the announcement I knew that this was perfect for my son because of his interest in reading, and it struck me as a perfect idea to connect with him while I'm away. My wife was also excited about it because we both are so focused on his education," said Bulzone. "Like anything you have to put the time into it and work at it; it doesn't just happen overnight."
For Sailors in Groton interested in participating in United Through Reading, contact Commander, Submarine Group 2.