When the COVID-19 crisis catapulted Florida students into distance learning overnight, it led to an early start to the traditional “summer slide,” particularly for students in low-income families, as one in three parents living below the poverty level reported that they are “very concerned” about their children falling behind in learning, according to an NPR article that revealed the remote learning gaps for low-income students. This parallels with research that indicates that 80 percent of children living below the poverty level fail to develop reading proficiency by the end of third grade.
To help combat these gaps, and to provide a safe, educational activity for kids and families in the midst of social distancing, Children’s Home Society of Florida has launched “Storytime with CHS,” a virtual library with honorary readers – including members of Florida’s Cabinet, elected officials, media personalities, a Miami Dolphin and more – reading aloud their favorite books.
Miami Dolphins Running Back #32 Patrick Laird is an honorary reader reading Good Night Miami by Lisa Bolivar-Martinez and Matthew Martinez.
Statistics show that one-third of low-income children are read to daily, and one in three U.S. children begin kindergarten without the language skills needed to learn to read. Storytime with CHS aims to help provide additional reading time for children who may not otherwise have such opportunities.
With an online library accessible on Facebook and Vimeo, Storytime with CHS includes “Goodnight Miami,” read aloud Miami Dolphins Running Back #32 Patrick Laird as well as stories from Attorney General of Florida Ashley Moody, Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran and Florida’s Teacher of the Year Dr. Dakeyan Graham, Sen. Aaron Bean representing Senate District 4, Rep. Travis Cummings representing House District 18, several mayors, school board members and district representatives, media personalities, and leaders and friends of Children’s Home Society of Florida.
Storytime with CHS features a “story of the week,” which also includes an activity for kids to complete and share.
Children’s Home Society of Florida continues to build the virtual library and invites members of the community to become involved, too. Visit www.chsfl.org/
Storytime for more information.