Facebook Live series begins its sixth year of connecting with families outside school hours
By Jo Mathis/AAPS District News
Nearly six years ago, Carpenter Elementary Principal Michael Johnson was considering ways to connect with families outside of school hours.
Sunday Bedtime Stories with Principal Johnson was born.
Now every Sunday evening is an opportunity for staff to connect with families live on the Carpenter PTO Facebook page.
“It gives us an opportunity to expose our kids to different genres of books,” says Johnson. “It also gives them an opportunity to see us as actual readers. In addition to all of that, we like to give them a little bit more opportunities with vocabulary and to see how they can actually connect with books.”
For the first couple of years, Johnson read all the stories himself. Then he opened it up to staff, who take turns choosing and reading stories to whoever shows up that evening.
“It gives the kids an opportunity to see us in our homes and gives us that personal connection with our families,” says Librarian Elizabeth Clark. “It really helps to bridge that home and school connection and start to make those connections with everyone in our building.”
She said some teachers choose books they loved as children, while others pick brand new titles to share with the kids, often from the Carpenter library’s extensive collection.
Carpenter fifth grade teacher Sarah Brish says she loves connecting with the kids outside of school.
“I really enjoy reading stories to my own children, and love that I can connect with other students and share my love of reading with them,” she says. “It’s always fun to see the excitement students have when they see their teachers and staff share a story with them. We do exist outside of the classroom!”
Carpenter School Social Worker Camille Woods-Davis says she loves taking her turn for a bedtime story and aligns her story with Carpenter’s “I Got You “ – Big Mack program, which kicks off for Pro-Kindness/Anti-Bullying month each year in October.
This year she plans to read “Kindness Is My Superpower” by Alicia Ortego.
“This is our sixth year of celebrating kindness through the legacy of my son Marcus, whom I lost in July of 2014 at the age of 20,” she says. “I choose a book each year that has its roots in kindness or being kind to others. Last year I chose ‘A Heart Just Like My Mother’s‘, a story of a girl who uses her gift money to help another. “
“I’m looking forward to sharing another story with our Cougar family this year and hopeful that the lessons of kindness they learn will help them grow into thoughtful, empathetic, kind adults someday.”