One elementary school principal believes reading time is so important, she reads bedtime stories to her students every week. Every Tuesday night students at Homer Drive Elementary in Beaumont, Texas can cozy up in their pajamas and tune in to Facebook Live where they’ll find their principal, Dr. Belinda George reading a story to them.

Anyone who visits the school’s Facebook page for Tucked-In Tuesdays, can watch live as she reads, complete with animated character voices and humorous commentary. She sometimes accessorizes for the book as well, like donning ladybug wings for a reading of Ladybug Girl. As word has spread, families across the country have also joined to check out the weekly story time.

Before she begins, George announces the reading grade level of each book and her students can take an optional quiz about the book the following day. George says she often has students come up to her and inquire where they can find the book in the school library.

George explained to The Washington Post that 94 percent of her students come from economically disadvantaged homes and last year’s literacy tests showed an average of just 55 percent of her third, fourth and fifth graders were reading at or above grade level. In her first year as principal implementing changes like this online story time, the school has already seen growth in the student’s literacy achievements.

Besides her weekly readings, George also has school dance parties twice a week and does home visits with students to give them praise and assistance to stay on track. “Anything I can do to build relationships,” she said. “If a child feels loved they will try. There’s no science about it.”

—Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: Ben White via Unsplash

 

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