As families the world over face lockdown for the foreseeable future a Kent children’s charity has called for would-be storytellers to help alleviate the stress of isolation.
The KM Charity Team, which works with schools promoting home-reading through its Buster’s Book Club scheme, has launched a campaign called Share a Story Time. The premise is simple: people are invited to record themselves reading a children’s picture-book to camera and send the video to the charity (at firstname.lastname@example.org using www.wetransfer.com) to share via social media.
The aim is to ensure that as many children as possible, no matter what their background or circumstances, have access to stories.
“We are concerned about the mental and physical health of young people during this extraordinary time,” said Mike Ward, Chief Executive Officer of the KM Charity Team. “Naturally we support the Government’s social distancing guidance in the fight against the Coronavirus. However, this does mean that children are cooped up in their homes all day and undoubtedly missing their schools, routines, friends, and extended families.
“Share a Story Time offers a simple way to keep young minds active, learning, and entertained. It also gives busy parents and carers – whether they are working from home, home-schooling, or simply exhausted key workers – a bit of breathing space.”
He added: “The benefits of reading to children are well-documented. It stimulates their imagination, empathy and creativity; develops language and thinking skills; promotes emotional wellbeing; and of course it lays the groundwork for a lifelong love of reading.”
CBeebies television presenter Joanna Adeyinka-Burford was the first to submit a story time video for the campaign. She read Chickens Can’t See in the Dark by Kristyna Litten.
- The KM Charity Team is also calling for schools and families to enter its science competition the Bright Spark Awards. Submit details of science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) projects undertaken in primary or secondary school – or at an extracurricular club – with a £500 cash prize up for grabs. This year a ‘home entry’ category has been introduced giving children the chance to take part during lockdown in a bid to win a £50 cash prize. Find out more at www.KMCharityTeam.co.uk/Brightspark
- Schools can nominate their top initiatives for promoting reading, writing, speaking and listening skills for a Kent Literacy Award. Showcase excellent work and share best practice countywide by entering at www.KMCharityTeam.co.uk/kent-literacy-awards