On a mission to raise the literacy rate among children with every live reading on Facebook, the Willard sisters are setting new examples for the young generation with their passion and determination.
Growing up we remember a few things from our childhood. One of them is listening to bedtime stories from our parents, imagining ourselves as one of the fairy tale characters, lost deep in our world and finally succumbing to sleep. That is one ritual that we used to look forward to every day.
This is one memory that we all remember fondly growing up. Unfortunately not all the kids are able to experience this tradition, mostly because of the busy schedules of their parents or because of unavailability of one of the parent.
Setting an amazing example, every week 13-year-old Zaria Willard and 8-year-old Hailey Willard take a trip to their local library to pick out books. Then for 5 days a week, they read stories on Facebook live and anyone can join it.
Delaware sisters Zaria and Hailey Willard say their mother has been reading them bedtime stories since they were young. This has built a good reading habit in the girls. It is because of this reason, they want to share their passion with the kids out there to help them grow their reading habits and make a difference in their lives. The Willard sisters want other kids to experience the ritual that will give them not only fond memories while growing up but also help in building their reading habits. As study shows that bedtime stories are crucial for building literacy in young children.
The sisters take turns in reading the stories every night. Zaria told InsideEdition.com, “We take turns reading. It all started to help kids get a bedtime story because maybe their parents are busy or they don’t have the time to read, so that’s what we are helping.” They explained, "Parents sometimes work late or are too tired for stories. We are not only helping children, we are giving parents a nice break after a long day of work."
The girls make sure to include books in their storytelling that are relevant to the kids and they actually enjoy listening to.
From Dr. Seuss classics to books with diverse characters, the sisters are on a mission to raise the literacy rate with each live reading. Every Sunday the Willard sisters visit the local library to pick out the books they will be reading in their broadcast throughout the week. According to the younger sister, Hailey, they try to include books in their broadcast that promote representation and inclusion. She said, “When we read stories we try to use black characters because we don’t see a lot of that around here so we’re here to tell people that black kids are out there too.”
Some nights, the broadcast lasts for only a few minutes but the whole activity means a lot for both the parents and kids. The broadcast that started off from 100 something audiences only have now reached to thousands of viewers. The sisters receive messages of love and support from their Facebook page Zaira.Hailey followers.
“It makes me happy that it helps somebody,” Zaria said. “It makes me feel good when I go online.”
Already setting an exceptional example the girls are now working on releasing their own children’s book series that includes the story of their family. Meanwhile, you can catch the girls with your kids sharing storytime every night on Facebook live from Monday to Friday.