Belinda doesn't want to stop connecting with her students as soon as school ends. She knows that not all kids have parents who read to them everyday.
Work is the last thing that people want to think about after they are back home from the office. But not for Belinda George, and that's maybe because she is genuinely concerned about her children's wellbeing that she doesn't consider it as work.
Belinda George, from Homer Drive Elementary, is not the kind of principal who stops thinking about her children after school hours. She hopes that her children have plenty of learning opportunities to continue their development even outside the classroom. She creates one such opportunity every Tuesday at 7:30 pm, and calls it 'Tucked-in Tuesdays'. That's when she sits in her jammies, cozy in the comforts of her home and reads out a bedtime story for her kids, who watch her live stream on Facebook.
Why this principal wears PJs and reads bedtime stories on Facebook Live https://t.co/sDoMz5c4Vx— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) March 1, 2019
This special way of connecting with her children helps Belinda make sure that her kids don't miss out on the hearty experience of being read to before bed. Even the way she addresses her children is different. "I don't call my children 'students,' I call them 'scholars,'" said Belinda, according to WLKY.
Although she is still in her first year of being the principal of the elementary school, she's already giving her kids more reasons to fall in love with reading as she tries to "bridge the gap between home and school". And the kids absolutely love it. “Kids will come up to me Wednesday and say, ‘Dr. George, I saw you in your PJs reading!,” said Belinda, according to The Washington Post. “They’ll tell me their favorite part of the book.”
"I don't have children of my own, so I love these kids with all my heart," she said. She, too, enjoys this unique way of interacting with her children, and the idea was inspired by what she saw on a forum for teachers.
"I want to extend what I do past 4 p.m. I'm not in every child's home, so I don't know if all or any of them have someone to read to them at night. This is just a way to give the children that exposure," said Belinda. What started off as an experiment in December soon turned into a tradition for the principal and the thousands of people who experienced the stories with her.
While a number of times she's in a onesie, there are other times when she will go that extra step to pique the interest of her young audience. When she read out Ladybug Girl, she was in the company of a large, stuffed ladybug. And when she was reading Madeline’s Christmas, she sat in a Cookie Monster onesie.
When it comes to stories, age doesn't matter. Children across different grades tune in to watch Belinda read out stories, and even adults join in on the fun. One mother, Keava Turner, spoke about how Tuesdays have become a standout day of the week. Keava said, "I love it because all of my children watch it. I have a 14-year-old, a third-grader, and first-grader who go to Homer, and my 10-month-old even sits still to watch," reports WLKY.
To make things a little more interesting for the kids, Belinda has even given her students a chance to score reading points by taking a test after the story, and inculcate that much-needed habit of reading on their own, which in turn, would become a routine habit. "The point is just to get the children interested in what is being read or what they are reading by relating it to things that they may be experiencing," said Belinda. This no doubt will benefit them in numerous ways as they not only get to expand their vocabulary and learn more on their own or through the stories being read to them. Additionally, it also encourages family time. It's a win-win situation for all, and what's not to love about it?
Watch more of her thoroughly enjoy herself as she reads out to her children.