Martha Reads, Fridays, 10 a.m. on Facebook

A new weekly Facebook segment featuring stories written by local children. Join us each week online to hear a new story.

If you missed a week, catch up with the videos below.


May 8: The Donkey Who Lost His Memory
by Ruben, 2nd Grade
James Hurst Elementary, Portsmouth


May 15: The Little Scared Fish
by Sahasra, 1st Grade
Kiln Creek Elementary, Newport News


May 22: One Inch Tall
by Mariana, 3rd Grade
Stonehouse Elementary, Williamsburg


May 29: The Talking Flower and Alex
Makayla, Kindergarten
Achilles Elementary, Glouchester


June 5: Cory Clanet
by Grace, 3rd grade
Hermitage Elementary, Virginia Beach


June 12: Kids Meet An Alien
by Skylar, 1st grade
Homeschooled


June 19: The Adventures of Oreo The Rat
by Holly, 1st grade
Carver Elementary School, Newport News


June 26: The Magnet Who Lost Magnetism
by Michael, 3rd grade
Creekside Elementary School, Suffolk


July 3: One Brave Arachnid
by Daxton, 2nd grade
Walsingham Academy, Williamsburg


July 10: The New School
by Erin, 2nd grade
Oceanview Elementary, Norfolk


July 17: The Mean Tree
by Savannah, 5th grade
Camden Intermediate School, Camden, NC



July 24: Meatball's Adventure
by Kiera, 4th grade
Star of the Sea School, Virginia Beach


July 31: The Mysterious Mermaids
by Sidney, Kindergarten
Great Bridge Presbyterian Preschool, Chesapeake


August 7: The Snowman of Norfolk
by Ela, 3rd grade
Larchmont Elementary School, Norfolk


August 14: Duck and Zebra
by Ava, Kindergarten
Kiptopeke Elementary, Cape Charles


August 21: George's Adventure
by William, 2nd grade
Hermitage Elementary, Virginia Beach


August 28: The Mermaids Save the Dolphins
by Grace, 2nd grade
Kilby Shores Elementary, Suffolk


September 4: The Man and the Island
by Vadun, 41st grade
Hampton Roads International Montessori School


September 11: The Adventures of Giraffe and Ostrich
by Bryson, 4th grade
Alanton Elementary, Virginia Beach


September 18: Bubba The Hero
by Phillip, 4th grade
Tidewater Collegiate Academy, Virginia Beach


September 25: The Little Cup Cake
by Laila, Kindergarten
Kiptopeke Elementary, Cape Charles


October 2: Millie Gets A Home
by Hudson, 3rd grade
Occohannock Elementary, Exmore


October 9: Ivy's Fairy Tale
by Wylesia, 5th grade
Kiptopeke Elementary School, Cape Charles


October 16: The Tooth Fairy Meets Friends
by Scarlett, Kindergarten
Achilles Elementary, Hayes


October 23: The Kids and The Secret Portal
by Ethan, 4th grade
Home School, Chesapeake


November 6: Rosie the Mermaid
by Madison, Kindergarten
Cape Charles Christian School, Chesapeake


November 13: The Princess
by Savannah, Kindergarten
Achilles Elementary School, Hayes


November 20: The Magical Adventure of Grayson and Bubba
by Grayson, 1st grade
Carver Elementary, Newport News


December 4: Beth Goes To Camp
by Elizabeth, 1st grade
Greenbrier Primary, Chesapeake


December 11: My Friend Sharko
by Siddhant, 2nd grade
Old Donation School, Virginia Beach


December 18: The Funny Pizza
by Jayd, 3rd grade
Atlantic Shores Christian School, Virginia Beach


Learn more about Martha Reads

When Virginia leaders announced in March that schools across the Commonwealth would close for the remaining academic year due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, the education staff at WHRO Public Media quickly changed up their normal routines to seek new ways to support teachers and parents as they ventured into at-home learning.

For our Early Childhood Learning team, this meant monumental changes. Our children’s services specialists on this team typically spend most of their time out in the community delivering lessons to children at schools, libraries and community centers to encourage reading and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, our educators were forced to park their colorful STEM and Reading Vans and find new methods of reaching children.

One new project that will soon launch is Martha Reads. Since her team couldn’t read to children in person, Martha Razor, manager of early childhood learning, decided to bring the stories to students virtually. Each week on Facebook, Martha will read a new story aloud. Rather than reading the books that children may already know, or could possibly find on their shelves at home, Martha will read stories that were submitted in previous years to our annual Young Storytellers Contest. These short tales are stories written by children, for children, with accompanying illustrations.

Martha taught for 15 years before coming to WHRO Education, so she is no stranger to classroom activities. Developing early literacy in children has always been one of her greatest joys. As part of her role at WHRO, she helps students throughout Eastern Virginia develop reading skills through our Literacy Van program, summer reading camps, and by providing books to students in under-served communities where books are not easily accessible in the home. She especially enjoys encouraging young students who struggle with reading to practice so they can become better, as well as distributing books to children through our First Books initiative.

“Out of all the activities that I participate in at WHRO, this is my passion. I love children reading and I love literacy,” Martha explains. “Even after 14 years, I still see the same expression on a child’s face when they receive a book. The children really get excited about having their own book to hold and keep.”

According to the Casey Foundation, students who are not proficient in reading by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of school than proficient readers. Children who receive books are more likely to increase reading time at home, have an increase in their desire to learn, and, most importantly, have a higher interest in reading.

Join us every Friday at 10 a.m. on our Facebook page for Martha Reads.