To prevent the "separation slide" in elementary school children by providing an accessible, engaging, and fulfilling source of reading and learning.
The Origins of Virtual Storytime with the Story Girl
Have you ever heard of the "summer slide"? Here's what the Reading Foundation has to say about it:
Students can lose up to three months of reading skills during the summer break. It's called the summer slide. The slide begins the first week students are out of school. Poor summer reading habits can produce a three-year achievement gap by fifth grade!
When children aren't in school, they often can't keep up with their reading skills. The absence of a teacher means there may not be anyone to read with them. Since I believe reading is one of the most valuable tools that can be provided to a child, the existence of the summer slide became the problem that I wanted to solve.
Then came the pandemic in 2019. During quarantine, no one could go to the library, and kids didn’t have their teachers there to read with them, and it bothered me. I have loved books all of my life, and I knew that it was so important for kids to have access to immersive reading experiences. So, I decided that I would bring the reading to these children who needed it.
As I observed instructional videos increasingly replace face-to-face learning, I wondered, why can't I do the same?
The details became clear: I would begin a virtual reading series for elementary school children to simulate the experience of being read with! Just like an in-person storytime, every video would provide opportunities to answer questions and practice critical thinking and social emotional skills. Some would even facilitate reading alone.
Furthermore, I wouldn't simply buy the books - I would write my own! I would use what I had learned from helping out at my local library's storytimes to craft my own stories to fit the needs of each series.