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Storytime for everyone: Community leaders regale Upshur kids, adults with tales via FRN initiative

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Family Resource Network hopes to bring some positivity to Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month by providing videos of community members reading children’s books.

Lori Ulderich Harvey, executive director of the Upshur County Family Resource Network, said the organization wanted to try starting a new program that children could enjoy.

“Our Partners in Prevention team and the county decided to do storytime for the kids or adults – it can be either – but we picked different community members, community leaders and business owners to read stories and we uploaded them on our Facebook page from YouTube,” Harvey said. “All people have to do is to go to our Facebook page and all the available videos will be right there.”

She said the last reader of the month will be a special guest and a surprise.

“At the very end of the month, so in a couple of days, we have a very, very special guest that will be reading for us; he isn’t really a community member but he’s a community member everywhere,” Harvey said. “We decided this would be something the kids and the parents could enjoy, rather than just be concentrated on the negative this month.”

She said the program allows people to enjoy a storytime without having to adhere to a schedule, and they can go back to enjoy listening to the book being read aloud whenever they want.

“It was something new, and if it’s something that seems to be a little bit popular, we may just have guest speakers every now and then and put on our Facebook page just for certain holidays or something like that for fun,” Harvey said. “With every activity we do, if at all possible, we try to get books in the hands of kids, and this is just one way we can do it virtually.”

The FRN has always tried to encourage reading, and during the last Trunk or Treat event, they handed out 600 books.

“It’s a family activity and we concentrate on children and families,” Harvey said. “There’s a lower literacy rate in our state, so the more you can get a child interested in reading, and even entire families interested in reading, then that plays into how a child learns better and comprehends better and it’s just one more thing we can do to set them up better, education-wise.”

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