In the spirit of Bob Hope and his dedication for bringing military families together, the Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program connected more than 43,000 military families around the globe through reading in 2018
On the heels of Read Across America Day, The Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation and the USO are celebrating the first year of the Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program that connected more than 43,000 military families around the globe in 2018 – at no cost to service members or their families.
Last year, Miranda Hope stated why the program is the perfect legacy for her grandfather and the USO, "For just a few moments, Bob Hope and what he stood for and the reading program make a warzone disappear. And that's not a small thing to do."
This year, the USO plans to build upon current reading offerings and establish new programming beyond physical USO centers with the introduction of Mobile reading kits. The USO will also explore new ways to deliver stories through different technologies and work to embed the reading program in expeditionary programs like USO2GO, which is requested by deployed units overseas.
The Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program currently brings story time on demand around the globe through:
Virtual tuck-in's with bed-time stories. Service members can read a bed-time story for their newborn child thousands of miles away. Service members can walk into participating USO locations, record themselves reading a story and have that recording shipped home.
Helping military kids stay connected through reading. Recognizing the challenges military children often face, the Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program makes it possible for military kids to share story time with someone they love by recording themselves reading. The USO sends the recording to the child's loved one, helping bring families together no matter the miles that separate them.
Supporting local reading programs in many USO locations around the globe big and small. In some USO locations, the Bob Hope Legacy Reading program offers small libraries, reading rooms and nooks that allow our military and their families to relax and dig into a good book. Events also encourage kids to use their creativity to complete a craft that complements a story's theme and provide a place for military families to connect.
For more than six decades – from World War II through Vietnam to the Gulf War – Bob Hope traveled the world, visiting remote outposts and isolated battleships to put on USO shows. His passion for helping keep troops and families connected from halfway around the globe lives on today.
No matter where service may take our nation's men and women in uniform, the Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program is dedicated to helping bridge that distance.
To learn more about the programs and services available through the USO, visit USO.org/programs.