05 Mar Sleep Tight with a Book a Night
As a longtime elementary school teacher and avid reader, Mrs. Debbie Ridenour will often tell students and parents that the best way to foster a lifelong love of reading is to pick up a book at bedtime. Today, the Concord West Side Elementary School teacher is taking literacy lessons one step further by offering videos for parents to share with their students.
“Sleep Tight with a Book a Night” began as a Facebook page of the same name where Mrs. Ridenour recently began posting videos of herself reading popular children’s books while sitting inside her classroom. The project is now available on YouTube as a playlist so parents can subscribe and have easy access to future programs.
Q. Hello, Mrs. Ridenour! Please introduce yourself.
A. “I am a specials teacher at Concord West Side Elementary School. This is my 13th year teaching. I have a passion for reading to children and helping them develop a love of reading and this is one way that I can do that.”
Q. Who are some of your favorite children’s authors?
A. “Dr. Seuss, of course! Mo Willems, Eric Carle, Eric Litwin, James Dean, and Giles Andreae are all great authors”
Q. How did you come up with the idea to launch “Sleep Tight with a Book a Night?”
A. “I’m always looking for creative ways to teach students and promote reading and came across other teachers who were using technology and social media to share their passion with families. I’ve always enjoyed reading aloud during special events at our school and the public library. ‘Sleep Tight with a Book a Night’ was created as an extension of that.”
Q. How has the response been so far to this project?
A. “Our teachers and families have been very supportive! I’m looking forward to getting the word out in hopes that many more children can benefit from the project.”
Q. What would you like to accomplish through this project?
A. “One goal would be to make a book come alive through my enthusiasm and the way I read stories. I want these books to be interesting and engaging to a child. Another goal would be to help students develop a passion for books and discover the types of books they enjoy most so they will become lifelong readers.”
Q. How do you select the books you read?
A. “Many of the books I’ve shared so far are my favorites from my years of teaching. As the project continues to grow, I hope to receive requests from families of books they would like for me to read.”
Q. How can someone request a book?
A. “Share the title of your favorite book in the comments section! I’ll make a list of the requests and share them in the future.”