On Tuesday nights, the kids who attend Homer Drive Elementary School in Beaumont, TX, hurry to get in pajamas and brush their teeth before story time starts. At 7:30 pm, CST, their principal, Dr. Belinda George streams into their homes via Facebook Live for what she calls Tucked-In Tuesdays. Styling fun sleepwear, like a Cookie Monster onesie, she reads a book, calling students by name as they sign on to the video.
“The idea came from a Facebook group called Principal Principles Leadership Group,” George said to TODAY. “And from the fact that I absolutely love my children.”
What started as a way to foster the love of reading into the children while strengthening her connection with them has turned into a weekly event watched thousands of times by people all over the world.
The benefits of reading to children are countless. Children that are read to develop larger vocabularies, earlier literacy skills, stronger relationships and are better at socializing. Unfortunately, in low-income households, children may have limited access to books and to adults that can read to them regularly. In Dr. George’s school, 95% of her students live in this type of situation.
She decided she needed to do something to ensure her kids were getting read to at home. The kids love her videos and tell her so often. They will even try to find copies of the books they heard.
The comments on her videos made by the parents of her students, as well as parents from all over the world, show how she successful she is in connecting with families outside of school.
Making these videos costs Dr. George only her time, but what a huge difference she is making in these children’s lives. As one commenter put it: “Kudos to the principal. What lucky kids to have such a caring teacher.”