The Beginning


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.

During the summer, children need to keep practicing essential reading skills, but they may not be able to make it to in-person storytimes at their local libraries. Providing a video series, on the other hand, means that children can be read with anywhere and anytime.

Once the school year begins, children still may not have enough one-on-one reading time with teachers. They also may not have the chance to be read with by parents or guardians with busy schedules. The "summer slide" therefore is only one part of what I call the "separation slide," the way a child's reading ability may decline due to an absence of reading experiences throughout the year.

This problem needs to be solved. Young children separated from guided reading need a way to keep learning. They need a way to receive immersive reading experiences.

Virtual Storytime with the Story Girl is this way.