Texas Elementary School Principal Ensures Students Bedtime Stories by Reading Them on Facebook

Texas elementary school principal Belinda George has a large following for her "Tucked-in Tuesdays" Facebook live stream during which she reads bedtime stories for her students and anyone on the social network who wants to tune in.

'Tucked-in Tuesdays' are a Hit for Belinda George

Texas elementary school principal Belinda George has developed a fail-safe tactic for ensuring her students get bedtime stories: she reads to them via Facebook live stream.

"I don't know if they are read to or not at home," George told The Washington Post.

Called "Tucked-in-Tuesdays," George's readings are open to the entire Facebook world.

A first-year principal at Homer Drive Elementary in Beaumont, Texas, the 42-year old George's bedtime stories have gained substantial traction on social media. Her audience includes not only her students but also scores of other Facebook users who are impressed by George's earnest effort to educate students she knows — and people she's never met — on her own time.

Texas elementary school principal Belinda George has a large following for her

George dresses up in various costumes to match themes from the books, such as her unicorn pajamas featured in this installment of the series. George told the Post that 94 percent of her students are from economically disadvantaged homes, and that reading scores are improving.

Why is Reading Out Loud Important?

"Tucked-In Tuesdays" may very well have something to do with those improved scores. How is reading aloud helpful for students? Kate DiCamillo, our inaugural Young Readers One Book South Dakota author in 2014, recently provided an excellent answer to that question during an appearance on PBS, where she described an inspirational moment from her childhood that exemplified the importance of "out loud reading."

"Reading aloud ushers us into a third place, a safe room. It's a room where everyone involved, the reader and the listener, can put down their defenses and lower their guard. We humans long not just for story, not just for the flow of language, but for the connection that comes when words are read aloud," she said.

"That connection provides illumination. It lets us see each other."

Find out more about our Young Readers Programming

The South Dakota Humanities Council's annual Young Readers Festival, which in 2018 featured popular children's authors, including Kara LaReau, Laura Geringer Bass, Joseph Marshall III, and Michael Hall, encourages youth literacy. One of our top priorities is to provide books to second-graders throughout the state, allowing them more opportunities for bedtime stories and "out loud reading."

The 2019 Young Readers One Book is "Tatanka and Other Stories of the Lakota People" by Donald F. Montileaux. Click below to find out more about this year's Young Readers Festival, to be held Oct. 3-6 in Rapid City and Deadwood.