Bedtime stories are a fond memory many of us have from our childhood, and on the same note, it’s a memory many of us want to give our children, as well.
Reading is an invaluable gift to kids (and people) everywhere — something Zaria Hathorn, 13, and Hailey Willard, 8, already know well at their young ages.
Five nights a week, the girls, who are two of five siblings, read to whomever would like to listen on Facebook Live. They believe kids all over the world deserve the opportunity to fall asleep to bedtime stories.
“We thought it may be beneficial for children who don’t get this luxury,” a post on the girls’ Facebook page reads. “Parents sometimes work late or are too tired for stories. We are not only helping children, we are giving parents a nice break after a long day of work.”
Because their mom has read to them their entire lives, Zaria and Hailey consider themselves avid readers, and with up to 12,000 views on FB Live some nights, it seems others agree.
That includes their mother. When they presented their mom with the idea to read on Facebook Live, even though she doesn’t want them to be on social media, she agreed it would be a great, positive way to help light the world.
For parents or readers who are thinking this is just a way to pawn off what should be the parent’s responsibility, think of it this way: A child seeing and hearing another child reading (and doing it well) is a great impression to impose on them. Perhaps, it might even encourage them to do the same and pick up more books to read aloud.
Parents could even incorporate it as an addition to their bedtime story routine.
The sisters have made it their mission to encourage literacy in youth all around the world.
“We are so grateful for the love and support you all have shown us … We are truly dedicated to our mission and have tons of fun doing it. We have huge plans for our ventures and we hope you follow along and share with your network of people,” the girls posted on Facebook.
The girls’ Facebook page Zaria X Hailey has quickly grown to more than 16,000 followers. Click here to catch some of their live readings or watch a few previous readings below.
For parents who don't want their kids on Facebook or Instagram, the girls also post their stories on their YouTube page.
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This story was first published in 2019. It has since been updated.