Joint Base Lewis-McChord – Five hundred U.S. military children and their parents stationed throughout the Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) area participated in a Blue Star Families’ Books on Bases program, coordinated with support from The Walt Disney Company. During the event, Blue Star Families and Disney VoluntEARS engaged military children and their families in art activities, including: making pirate swords, crowns and bookmarks. As families left the event, each child was given a reusable Blue Star Families tote bag full of read-along stories from Disney Publishing Worldwide and Disney plush toys.
Created in 2009, Blue Star Families’ Books on Bases offers military kids a sense of continuity, safety and belonging through the magic of reading. These events help military families spend quality time together, escape everyday stresses, and talk thoughtfully about home and life circumstances that might be difficult to discuss. Thanks to support from Disney Publishing, Books on Bases has distributed more than 70,000 books to military children and their families at more than 35 bases at home and overseas, including installations in Alaska, Hawaii, England, Germany, Italy, South Korea and Japan.
Over the span of their school career, the average military child has likely attended six to nine different schools with at least two transitions during high school. On average, military families move seven times more often than civilian families and are more likely to move long distances. In addition, 52 percent of families and their children have moved outside of the U.S. as a result of military orders. (Source: Blue Star Families’ 2015 Military Family Lifestyle Survey)
“Constantly changing schools, friends, teachers, and classroom curriculums are particularly challenging for both military children and their parents,” said Patricia Sinay, Blue Star Families Director of Policy, Program Evaluation, and Partnerships. “That’s why Books on Bases is such a great program for military families. In addition to the proven educational advantages of reading to your child, it also has a calming effect and can help open up a dialogue between children and parents. This increased communication provides military families with greater coping skills and helps ensures success.”
With support from The Walt Disney Company, Blue Star Families, the nation’s largest and fastest growing chapter-based military family engagement organization, hosts both national and international Books on Bases events as part of an initiative to promote reading among military children and their families. At Books on Bases events around the country, military families receive free books and engage in group reading activities, crafts and games along with Disney VoluntEARS. Blue Star Families created the Books on Bases program to positively impact the lives of military and veteran children through the power of reading, and to provide support and tools to military families.
Blue Star Families is a national, nonprofit network of military spouses, children, parents and friends, as well as service members, veterans and civilians, dedicated to supporting, connecting and empowering military families. With our partners, Blue Star Families leverages data-driven insights to curate resources for military families, including career development tools, local community events for families, and caregiver support. Since its inception in 2009, Blue Star Families has engaged tens of thousands of volunteers and served more than 1.5 million military family members. Blue Star Families also works directly with the Department of Defense and senior members of local, State and Federal government to bring the most important military family issues to light. With Blue Star Families, military families can find answers to their challenges anywhere they are. Visit bluestarfam.org for more information.
About The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international entertainment and media enterprise with the following business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. Being a good corporate citizen is a time-honored Disney tradition. Through contributions, collaborations with local organizations, in-kind gifts and volunteering, Disney helps to brighten the lives of kids and families in need and strengthen communities around the world. For more information visit, thewaltdisneycompany.com/citizenship or twitter.com/citizendisney.