Shane believes in a community where adults read to children regularly, but he recognised the problem that most children at his school only engage with adult readers during the school day.
Children entering Prep from home-based care or family daycare aren’t exposed to adult readers as often as would be desirable, and a large number of parents at Shane’s school said they don’t read to their children because they don’t know how to or they don’t feel comfortable doing so.
Shane decided to start uploading video clips regularly onto social media of role models in the community reading books to the viewers (kids!).
He started off filming school staff reading books in contexts outside of school. Shane modelled this for others on his farm, reading a book about farm animals whilst surrounded by them!
He then identified potential role models in the community who are recognisable or who have a public profile and invited them to record their own story telling video. Shane asks every role model to kick off their video with a personal message for his school community, so that the kids know the video has been made especially for them!
Shane then uploads the videos onto his school’s social media account, and lets the magic happen from there!
Shane’s school is a P-12 college with approximately 1600 students. With almost half of these students in the primary school, Shane’s initiative has had a positive impact on about 700 students.
Most of the clips he’s uploaded have high view rates in excess of 1000 hits each!
“I was at the local shopping centre when an older lady approached me. She introduced herself and wanted to thank me for reading to her grandchildren. At first, I had no idea what she was talking about until she said my name and mentioned the videos I had been uploading to the school’s Facebook site. She told me that her grandchildren view them all the time and loved watching them.”
Like the idea?
Shane would love your support for Role Model Readers, or for you to start a similar program in your school, and he’d love to hear about any ideas you have or lend a hand where he can. Shoot an email to email@example.com if you want to get in touch with Shane and we can connect you. Feel free to cheer him on in the comments below as well.
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