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Storytime Program for Military Families Wins Newman Contest

National Guard Bureau

WASHINGTON, July 17, 2001 – The Family Literacy Foundation's "United Through Reading" program is the overall $10,000 grant winner in the second annual Newman's Own award contest.

Grants totaling $45,000 went to 12 organizations July 10 in a Pentagon ceremony. Presenters were Charles S. Abell, assistant secretary of defense for force management policy, and representatives of contest co-sponsors, Ken and Tammy Fisher of Fisher House Foundation; Tom Indoe, chief operating officer of Newman's Own; and David Smith, vice president, marketing and business development, Military Times Media Group.

The literacy foundation is based in Solana Beach, Calif. In its program, deployed military parents maintain contact with their children by reading to them on videotape. More than 16,000 parents on 90 different Navy ships have used the program to date. The Navy provides matching funds and cites improved morale and reduced family anxiety. (For more information, contact Peggy Kidd at Peggy@Read2Kids.org.)

The Newman's Own contest is open to private and nonprofit organizations that operate with authority of a military installation commander, who certifies their eligibility. The program this year attracted 69 entries.

Judging criteria include the creativity and innovativeness of entrants' programs and their impact on the quality of life of their military communities.

Also receiving awards were:

$5,000 Grants

  • The Healthy Start Military Family Cluster, sponsored by Social Advocates for Youth of San Diego. The initiative focuses on community and volunteer development activities for Navy and Marine families living in the Murphy Canyon and Cabrillo housing areas of San Diego. (For more information, contact Rachel Burnage at HealthyMFC@aol.com.)

  • "Adopt-A-Platoon," sponsored by the Northern New York - Fort Drum Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army. The 170 private and public organizations that have taken part to date develop ways to communicate their appreciation and support to deployed soldiers. (For more information, contact Michael T. Plummer at PlumMike@aol.com.)

  • "Back to School Supplies Give A Way," sponsored by the Family Services Office at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. provides young students with needed school supplies. It expects to serve more than 700 Air Force children this fall. (For further information, contact Angela Brumbaugh at SABrum@aol.com.)

$3,000 Grants

  • Camp SPARK (Strengthening Parents and Renewing Kids), a one-week day camp sponsored by the Armed Services YMCA and Military Committee for Persons with Disabilities at Camp Pendleton Calif., for family members classified as having special needs. (For more information, contact Brenda Spratt at BrendaSp@sd.quik.com.)

  • The Military Child Education Coalition of Harker Heights, Texas, which trains counselors in schools that support military installations, with the goals of easing students' transition and negotiating issues such as class placement and course selection. (For further information, contact Mary Keller at Mary.Keller@MilitaryChild.org.)

$2,500 Grants  

  • The Airmen's Food Pantry, sponsored by the 48th Fighter Wing Chapel at RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom, provides short-term food aid to military families facing financial crises. Also serves RAF Mildenhall and RAF Feltwell. (For further information, contact Robert Davison Jr. at LKRR99@yahoo.com.) 


  • "Adoptaplatoon" of Kingston, N.H., assigns a "Platoon Mom" to each supported unit to ensure participating deployed service members receive mail and care packages. (For further information, contact Myron Dobson at Triad@ttlc.net.) 


  • The PULSAR (Police, Public educators, and Peer facilitators Utilizing Leadership for Students at Risk) program sponsored by the Armed Services YMCA of Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base, N.C., assists at-risk military children. (For further information, contact Lynne M. Grates at LGratesASYMCA@Earthlink.net.) 


  • The Friends of the Family Support Center, Langley Air Force Base, Va., help make military spouses more competitive in local job markets through basic computer education classes. (For further information, contact Bernadette Hardy at Bernadette.Hardy@Langley.af.mil.)

$2,000 Grants  

  • "Back Door Boutique," staffed by volunteers and sponsored by the Armed Services YMCA in Twentynine Palms, Calif., enables of junior-enlisted Marine families to obtain clothing for growing children that they might otherwise not be able to afford. (For further information, contact Frank Gallo at FGallo@asymca.org.) 


  • The Armed Services YMCA's support initiative at the Coast Guard Station in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The YMCA provides military children with classes in language and local customs to help them adjust to life on the island. (For further information, contact Frank Gallo at FGallo@asymca.org.)
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