Story21 has launched! We had a great first session with our Spanish-speaking families yesterday and are gearing up for our first day with our English-speaking group tomorrow. Everyone was engaged and enthusiastic as we introduced the program and program structure, learned the welcome song, demoed a read aloud using the Reading Rainbow app and did an activity mapping learning goals using a free app. Then we shared a literacy game app, learned the goodbye song and said our farewells. The families were really thoughtful about their goals and it was so exciting to see the parents grow in confidence using the device.
One of the most incredible things we have noticed is the enrollment of families whose children we have known for 3 years through our LitClub and LitCamp programs. Until now we had never had the chance to meet their parents. The parents are captivated and engaged, in large part because Story21 is provides a way to engage with their children and connect with them in a new way. This includes mothers we have never met because they are inside of the home or are working 3 jobs, and fathers who are often outside of the country but are taking their precious time here in the US to be with us and with their children in the program. It is really wonderful to be on this journey together, and to be building a whole-family relationship that will allow the children of our programs to have a steady, open system of support to become lifelong literacy learners.