Literacy is an essential component of a student’s education. Their reading proficiency will play a role in every subject they encounter during their journey from pre-k to graduation. The more children read and are read to, the better chance they have to succeed.
“Reading a story to them every day is very important,” said Jacqueline Beavers, the academic engagement teacher at Mitchell Elementary. “It's building their oral language and their vocabulary and those foundational skills they need.”
Since it is so crucial, Jacqueline wanted to make sure kids were able to hear a story before bed at least once a week so she started Story Time Tuesday. Inspired by Sparks in the Dark: Lessons, Ideas and Strategies to Illuminate the Reading and Writing Lives in All of Us and a principal’s video she found on YouTube, every Tuesday night she logs onto Facebook, starts a live video, and reads a book to her viewers on the Mitchell Elementary page.
“It’s a fun way of doing it, but they also might not be getting that a home,” said Jacqueline. “My biggest thing is trying to connect the families with the school. Why not social media?”
Her first video was in August right before school began. She read The Night Before Kindergarten to help prepare young ones for the day ahead. A couple weeks later, she selected a story to help teach students how they should treat one another.
“I picked Bootsie Barker Bites to focus on being nice at school. I'm trying to think of things to have them think about -- ways to be nice to their friends,” she said.
In honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day, she read Are Pirates Polite? (Spoiler alert – they are!)
She hopes to connect Story Time Tuesday with school events throughout the year, including the upcoming fall book fair that runs from Monday, October 28 to Friday, November 1. She plans to feature books that will be available to purchase.
“The book fair is just getting books in those kids' hands,” she said. “It allows the PTA to have scholastic dollars, and so then we turn around and use those scholastic dollars to buy books to give to the kids. So, we're giving out books to kids. Anytime.”
The goal is to foster a love for reading that kids can share with their families.
“I always tell my parents keep reading to them at home because it helps build those comprehension skills and the vocabulary skills,” said Jacqueline. “It also builds a better relationship between the parent and the child, and it gives them a routine.”
Part of that routine, of course, can be getting comfy on the couch each Tuesday at 7 p.m. to watch Ms. Beavers share a story with passion and joy that is sure to entertain the whole family.
For information on reading resources, please visit the Library page.