School Principal Streams Bedtime Stories

Mar 3, 2019
Originally published on March 3, 2019 8:51 am
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BELINDA GEORGE: It's 7:30, scholars. I'll be starting reading a book in about a few minutes.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. exactly, curled up in her pajamas, Belinda George gets a book and starts to read out loud.

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GEORGE: Here it goes. (Reading) In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived 12 little girls in two straight lines. They left the house at half past nine in two straight lines in rain or shine. The smallest one was Madeline.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: George is the first-year principal at Homer Drive Elementary in Beaumont, Texas. And she streams her story time on her school's Facebook page so that her students can watch. She calls it Tucked-in Tuesdays.

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GEORGE: Let's see. Hi, Gisselle (ph) and Gilbert (ph), Nayelli (ph), Alexis (ph), Briana (ph). Hi, Zamarripas (ph). Just like we used to call you at elementary - Zamarripas. Hello.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Each Tucked-in Tuesday begins with George saying hi to the students who pop up on her screen. There's an interactive question and answer portion, too. She told her local paper, the Beaumont Enterprise, that she does it because she doesn't know if the kids are read to or not at home. And she wants to promote a love of books and learning. Ninety-four percent of George's students come from poor homes. And about half of the third, fourth and fifth graders aren't reading at their grade level. She says the story time is about pushing them further. And the students have already seen growth in literacy since she became principal. George told The Washington Post of her philosophy. If a child feels loved, they will try. There's no science about it.

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GEORGE: I'll see you guys tomorrow. And as I always say, if nobody else tells you, Dr. George loves you. Good night.

(SOUNDBITE OF DIE KNOEDEL SONG, "MIT DER 42ER") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.