A principal from Texas is offering children a digital version of story time.
Principal Dr. Belinda George, 42, hosts an online story hour called ‘Tucked in Tuesday’ which she presents on Facebook Live each week.
Principal George says she got the idea before the Christmas break.
‘You can’t just stay stagnant. You’ll lose the kids,’ Dr. George said to GMA. ‘I knew I would miss my scholars. You got to meet them where they are.’
Dr. Belinda George, 42, puts on her pajamas for ‘Tucked in Tuesdays’
Thousands of students now tune into her Facebook Live broadcasts each Tuesday evening
The kids at Homer Elementary School in Beaumont, Texas all seem to appreciate her efforts
George, who is in her first year as principal at Homer Elementary School in Beaumont, Texas, started the story sessions in hopes to encourage good reading habits even outside the classroom.
The school head got into her pajamas and decided to read the children a story direct from her living room with the hope she would be able to bridge the gap between home and school.
35 students from her Texas elementary school tune in to listen to the story the first time around but that has since grown to hundreds of kids and parents around the world.
She started the started the readings in December. Some of her Facebook Live videos have received as many as 2,000 views.
George started to read bedtime stories for her elementary school students over Facebook but the audience has now grown to thousands of youngsters all over the country
George started the readings in December for her 35 students. Some of her Facebook Live videos have gotten as many as 2,000 views
Before reading the story, George gives a shout-out to the students who have signed on and pop up on her screen.
‘Serenity is watching from Albuquerque, NM,’ reads one comment on a post. ‘LOVE THIS!!!!!,’ reads another commenter from Illinois. ‘Thank you for going out of your way for them!,’ wrote Dana Berisha.
‘Watching these from Murray, KY. Our daughter enjoys watching these story videos,’ wrote Holly Rudd Buchanan, adding a heart emoji to her comment.
‘In my head, I’m doing something that I love and I’m doing something for kids, and so the attention that I’m getting is kind of like I don’t know the big deal yet,’ Dr. George says.
George has been overwhelmed by the response to her story time. She now plans to expand ‘Tucked in Tuesdays’ to include special guests
She has also managed to help improve her students’ reading scores thanks to her efforts
‘The bottom line is I love, love kids,’ said George to the Washington Post. ‘I know if I don’t reach them outside of school I never reach them in school.’
‘Children will not trust you until you give them a reason to,’ she told GMA.
‘As an educator, you must build relationships with each child that you encounter. Relationships are the key to trust and student growth. If a child feels loved, they will try. There’s no science behind it. When dealing with children, you have to remember that no matter what they do, they are children. No matter the behavior, they all want to be loved and nurtured.’
George said 94 percent of her students come from economically disadvantaged homes, and last year’s literacy tests showed that an average of just 55 percent of her third-, fourth- and fifth-graders were reading on or above grade level.
Her efforts have gone viral, with families across the country tuning in
George said she has a deep understanding of growing up in an economically disadvantaged home. She and her five siblings grew up in a three-bedroom trailer in Louisiana.
Authors are now starting to send in their books for her to read in the hope that they will be next. Some have even joined her during story time.
Dr. George says what is most important is that her students are learning.
‘They’re learning to read with expression,’ she says. ‘They’re learning that the principal cares.’
‘As an effective educator, you must believe and see the best in every child,’ she said.
‘It is your job and duty to ensure that the needs of the whole child are met before you can teach them anything academically. You have to lead with your heart because that is what children see first. Once children know that you love them, they will do anything for you.’