Ms. 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

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

October 30: Plants vs Cheese Balls... It's About Time
by Grayson, 3rd grade
Larchmont Elementary School, Norfolk

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

December 25: The Girl Who Cried Santa
by Savannah, 4th grade
Sewells Point Elementary, Norfolk

January 1: Stacy and The Candy Dimension
by Aynslee, 3rd grade
Tidewater Academy, Wakefield

January 8: Just with Juice to Make Magic
by Tra, 3rd grade
Larchmont Elementary, Norfolk

January 15: The First Kid President
by Selena, 2nd grade
Carrollton Elementary, Carrollton

January 22: Wenny Waffle Goes to Breakfast School
by Mahika, 1st grade
Cape Henry Collegiate School, Virginia Beach

January 29: My Special Surprise
by Saniya, kindergarten
Carver Elementary School, Newport News

February 5: Bubble Trouble
by Kennedy, 2nd grade
Nansemond Parkway Elementary School, Suffolk

February 12: The Friendship Fraud
by Dianna, 4th grade, Virginia Beach

February 19: The Fairy Princess
by Lillian, 1st grade
Kings Park Elementary, Springfield, VA

February 26: Life Was Different When Aunt Margaret Was Growing Up
by Keegan, 1st grade
Windsor Elementary, Windsor, VA

March 5: The Donkey Who Lost His Memory
by Ruben, 2nd grade
James Hurst Elementary, Portsmouth, VA

March 12: The Scared Little Fish
by Sahasra, 1st grade
Kiln Creek Elementary, Newport News, VA

March 26: Ranger Bill
by Deonta, 3rd grade
Kiptopeke Elementary School, Cape Charles, VA

April 9: The Magic Wishing Powder
by Savannah, 3rd grade
Matthews Elementary School, Cape Matthews County, VA

April 16: The Adventures of Oreo the Rat
by Holly, 1st grade
Carver Elementary School

April 23: Fun Taco
by Isabelle, 1st grade
Trantwood Elementary School in Virginia Beach, VA

April 30: Cory Clanet
by Grace, 3rd grade
Hermitage Elementary in Virginia Beach, VA

May 7: The Rainbow Fossil
by Mckinley, Kindergarten
Great Bridge Presbyterian School, Chesapeake, VA

May 14: The Magnet Who Lost Magnetism
by Michael, 3rd grade
Creekside Elementary, Suffolk, VA

May 21: The Scissors Go To School
by Ruby, 1st grade
Occohannock Elementary, Exmore, VA

May 28: My Special Surprise
by Saniya, Kindergarten
Carver Elementary, Newport News

June 4: The Baker Princess (1 Year Anniversary)
by Lara, Kindergarten

June 18: Do Not Waste Water
by Aaria Jain, 1st grade
John B. Dey Elementary, Virginia Beach

June 25: The Adventures of Net Man
by Frank DeRego, Kindergarten

July 2: The Bunny Who Saved His Family
by Victoria Tickello, 2nd grade

July 9: Earth's Cardboard Creations
by Evie Bales, 4th grade, Kilby Shores Elementary, Suffolk, VA

July 16: The Puppy Pizza Place
by Lucy Gurganus, 2nd grade, Deer Park Elementary, Newport News, VA

July 23: The Scissors Go To School
by Ruby, 1st grade, Occohannock Elementary, Exmore, VA

July 30: The Ups and Downs of Earth
by Zoey Pham, 5th grade, Pembroke Meadows Elementary, Virginia Beach

August 6: Ranger Bill
by Deonta, 3rd grade, Kiptopeke Elementary School, Cape Charles, Virginia

August 13: Recycle Me!
by Aanya Jain, 3rd grade, Old Donation School, Virginia Beach

August 20: The Ups and Downs of Earth
by Zoey Pham, 5th grade, Pembroke Meadows Elementary, Virginia Beach

August 27: Kitty's Garden
by Isaac Burns, Kindergarten, Great Bridge Presbyterian School, Chesapeake

September 3: Stacy and the Candy Dimension
by Aynslee, 3rd grade, Tidewater Academy, Wakefield, VA

September 10: Saniya And The S-Bots
by Saniya Hundley-Sweeney, 5th grade, Carver Elementary School, Newport News, VA

Learn more about Ms. 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 Ms. 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 Ms. Martha Reads.

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