School District 60 has started broadcasting a new virtual storytime each morning for primary school children.
Each weekday at 10 a.m., school staff go live on Facebook and YouTube to read stories in both English and French. The initiative was spearheaded by Director of Instruction Jarrod Bell, and a sound studio has been set up at the Key Learning Centre for the broadcasts.
“I’m excited. It’s been a bit of a silver lining amongst some of the other challenges right now,” said Superintendent Stephen Petrucci.
The studio is equipped with a green screen and other video technology, and has been setup to ensure cleanliness and proper social distancing protocols for COVID-19.
“The reading and narration experience is very high quality. You can scan in books, so that the reader doesn’t have to show the book,” said Petrucci.
Bert Bowes teacher Ted Sloan has been volunteering his time to schedule in readers, and has also spent his time reading for the broadcasts. Teachers and librarians have also been coming forward to volunteer their time.
As for future broadcasts, Petrucci says the sky is the limit, and the District is open to inviting outside guests to perform.
“It’s not limited to just stories; we’re looking at the possiblity of some demonstrations, maybe arts and crafts. A variety show aspect," said Petrucci. "It’s just a matter of coordinating people’s time.”
Email reporter Tom Summer at firstname.lastname@example.org.