Library Commission show to feature Read Aloud during week of Oct. 1, 2018

The West Virginia Library Commission will feature Read Aloud West Virginia’s work on a program that will air during the first week of October on Channel 17 for Suddenlink customers in Kanawha and Putnam counties.

“Libraries Today” airs regularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:30 a.m., 4:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.; on Wednesdays and Fridays at 4:30 a.m.; and Saturdays at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

The video will also be available on the Library Commission’s YouTube Channel.

The Great American Read

PBS has launched an eight-part online and television series to find America’s favorite book! The special project, targeted to adult readers, began on May 22, 2018 and will continue through the summer and fall.

Viewers will vote on their favorite books throughout the series and the list of 100 diverse books will be narrowed down to one. Celebrities, athletes, experts, authors and everyday Americans will participate in the series, alongside host  Meredith Vieira. The multi-platform campaign will encompass online and community engagement, including cooperation with local libraries in West Virginia.

The grand finale will air on October 23, 2018 at 8:00 pm. Viewers can follow the Great American Read Facebook page and use the hashtag #GreatReadPBS. This project offers an opportunity for families to discuss their own favorites and explore new titles.

Read Aloud Boone County goes LIVE!

By Sara Busse

Unbeknownst to him, WOWK weatherman Spencer Adkins inspired a new delivery system for Read Aloud of Boone County. By embracing technology, Chapter President Jennifer Griffith is spreading Read Aloud throughout the county with enthusiasm and passion.

“I was on Facebook and saw Spencer Adkins go live with an update about a storm.” She joined the conversation. “When I did, I saw the interaction between me, him and others… people typing in, asking questions… he would read them and say their names with a reply. I thought, ‘How neat is that?!’ I sent a question to see if the storm would hit Madison. He said, ‘Jennifer, it looks like it will hit in about ten minutes down the Boone line.’ From that day on, I would see journalists and others ‘go live’ and thought, ‘How could I incorporate that into my Read Aloud?’”

Griffith went live on Facebook, reading children’s favorite books. She promoted the Tuesday night Facebook readings to parents and children. Authors joined in live discussions. And it was a hit!

Griffith knew that most homes have a computer, iPad or iPhone, all of which have links to social media.

“My goal was to get parents involved as well as the kids. Having it at night, I hoped to draw a larger crowd, that parents and grandparents would sit with their child, watch and engage, just as I did with Spencer!”

The story time ran through June and July. Parents would comment as the story progressed. Griffith’s expressive delivery guaranteed many responses from parents. They would message her, saying how excited their child was when Griffith called him or her by name.

“I would give a ‘shout out’ to the kids when I saw their posts. ‘Hey Bobby, are you ready for Storytime? We have a great book to read tonight.’

Griffith said one great thing about Facebook Live is that it stays on the Facebook page and those who missed it can view at a later time.

Griffith, a former teacher in the Boone County school system and current piano teacher who now works with WVU Physicians, has been encouraging reading in her community for many years. She created a program called “Skyhawk Read Aloud” that involved high school football players reading to elementary students. Book drives at football games, Read to My Pet Day and other initiatives have helped promote reading in the county, as well.

Visit Read Aloud WV-Boone County on Facebook to see Griffith’s videos and to stay updated on the exciting events in the county.

BUZZ: New Read Aloud video a call to action

By Sara Busse

Although one goal of Read Aloud is to limit screen time, a new video produced by West Virginia State University’s Extension Service is creating a buzz about reading aloud across West Virginia.

Lynn Kessler, director of communications and development for RAWV, said the group needed a tool to spread its message. A conversation with West Virginia State University extension agent and Summers County Read Aloud coordinator Stacy Ford at the Read Aloud summer conference led to a collaboration between RAWV and WVSU.

“Matt Browning and Megan Sheets in West Virginia State University’s communications and media departments took it and ran. They were such an incredible help to us in creating a tool that we could not have created without them,” Kessler explained.

Browning and Sheets, both graduates of WVSU and self-proclaimed “total book nerds,” described the video as a call to action to recruit volunteer readers.

Browning and Sheets filmed readers in Summers and Kanawha county, as well as “b-roll” footage featuring extension agents in the library and reading to children. The video was an in-kind donation to Read Aloud, and Sheets said it’s the first time they were able to branch out and do work for another entity besides the University.

The video also features an interview with Read Aloud Executive Director Mary Kay Bond.

“She came to our studio on campus, and she’s like a brochure for Read Aloud in person,” Sheets said, laughing. “She was great.”

Browning said the readers and children were very comfortable in front of the camera because they were engrossed in the reading.

“There was one gentleman, he was an absolute hoot!” he said. “The reader had so much fun with those kids, and they were having so much fun, it made it easy.”

Thank you for supporting Read Aloud West Virginia!

Read-A-Palooza: Childhood Favorites was held on March 9, 2015. We are so grateful to all who supported and attended the event. We are also grateful for those who shared their own childhood favorites and started wonderful conversations about treasured books. See some of our supporters picks in this video. Thank you again!