I remember when I was about 6 years old and growing up, my parents really encouraged us to read. To ensure this, we had a library at home. They took delight in reading bed time stories to my siblings and I before we went to bed each night. The most interesting thing about this daily ritual was when my parents always gave us the opportunity to pick any book of our choice from our library to read. Since then, I have always had the vision of carrying on this legacy of reading not only to my kids, but to others as well.
I currently reside in the UK with my family. Everything was sailing smoothly until Corona Virus plagued the world. Given the increasing numbers of active cases daily, we went into a lock down in March 2020. As a full time working mum and in addition to managing our home, my family was thrown into a ditch of uncertainties with the sudden lockdown. I have two preschool age children a four year old and a three year old 3. I and my husband found ourselves homeschooling them. We started reading a book to them each night like my parents did when I was a kid.
Several research done on reading to kids in their early stages of life have proven that, it enhances their communication skills and social interaction. We realized how beneficial reading to our kids had been and decided to extend the love and passion we have for reading to other children and parents all over the world. As a result, my husband and I decided to create “Story Time with Mary” to help other children especially in this COVID-19 era. Though, I still work full time in the Asset Management sector, I do “Story Time with Mary” during my leisure hours and it has been such a rewarding experience. I usually will do the recordings of myself reading the books ov¬er the weekend and my husband will edit and upload them online.
I currently read the books available in our home library. However I’m looking forward to getting more books from around the world and share global stories on “Story Time with Mary”. I have been contacted by authors of children’s books from all over the world through social media to read their books which has been very exciting. I am looking forward to having access to some Ghanaian story books for children especially, those on the series of Kwaku Ananse. Many people of the Ghanaian heritage are familiar with “By The Fire Side” which focused on Kwaku Ananse stories. We would be very glad to share these stories with the children that watch “Story Time with Mary”.
“Story time with Mary” has also been featured on news programmes including BBC Focus on Africa which has expanded my reach to children all over the world. We have received pictures of children watching “Story Time with Mary” with their parents from all around the world including Ghana, Cameroon and even Mexico which is amazing. We also want to take this initiative to the next level by appealing for books to enable us to distribute to underprivileged primary schools in the remote areas of Ghana.
You can follow “Story time with Mary” on Facebook @storytimewithmary Instagram @storytimewithmaryonline