StoryRhyme: A Manifesto At StoryRhyme, we believe in reading. We believe that children should experience the wonders of the world around them and live joyous, happy lives. We believe that children's creativity and imagination can take them anywhere they want to go. We believe that one way this can be achieved is through the ability to read, and an important aspect of parent or caregiver bonding with their child comes through the process of reading together. What could be more simple, yet transformative, than this shared activity?
Here's to happy children everywhere!
Why StoryRhyme and why bother?
My little family and I, we believe in reading. We believe that a child's imagination can take them anywhere they want to go, and while you may not have the physical means to travel the world, you can get there through books. Free, courtesy of your library card. StoryRhyme, with its original stories and classics you may not have heard of, provides a resource for parents, along with our recommendations for different books, movies, web sites, etc., that we really like. An example of an absolutely wonderful resource that my husband came across when our son was young is Kidsurplus.com (no, we have no affiliation at all) which sells children's clothing, supplies and shoes at great prices. When our son was about four, we ordered several pairs of red hightops, brand new, $5 a pair! We kept him in hightops for about three years. Not brand-name, of course, but who cares? He outgrew them before they really showed much wear (and little kids do look great in red hightops).
Another reason behind StoryRhyme is to really promote reading time between parents/caregivers and their children. When our son was in the fourth grade, his reading lexile score was that of a college freshman. Now in the fifth grade, he's even higher. I don't say this to brag (well, maybe a little), but when I thought about why his scores were so high (he goes to an average public school), aside from the daily reading program at school, the one really important factor I could come up with is nightly reading at home. Since he was a toddler, we've read to him at night. And now, although he's perfectly capable of reading by himself, I still read with him at night. Together we've shared all of the "Chronicles of Narnia" books, "The Hobbit," "The Wind in the Willows," and on and on. There's got to be a connection. He now loves to read, and that will serve him very well in life.
One of the purposes for JC's Blog is to put a human face on the people behind StoryRhyme. StoryRhyme is not a faceless corporation, but people (like me and Husband whose pen name is William Stevens) who want to do something positive in the world. Now, enjoy it and start reading, 'ya hear!
Revisited three years later...
Three years ago, when Husband and I conceived and created StoryRhyme.com, I wrote about why. Being three years later, and, let's face it, three years older, I thought I'd revisit the motivation behind our site.
We believe that information is power and, hopefully, a hedge against bias, hatred, prejudice and ignorance. Literacy equates (hopefully) to freedom from hunger, both physical and intellectual.
We still share those underlying beliefs, but really, there was an additional reason for our site: my little family, we may not have had a lot of money (still don't), but we experienced so much joy together, I wanted to, if possible, somehow bottle that joy -- share it with the world.
I firmly believe that children have the right to lead happy, joy-filled lives of magic and wonder, giggling, make believe, tag on the grass, stargazing, bug collecting, water fights, and, of course, stories. Unfortunately, life can be terribly harsh for a young person. For some, there aren't any ponies and maybe not very many rainbows. There are children who experience hunger, abuse, privation. Some have scars that never heal; some have to try very hard to overcome their childhood wounds.
To those children, we dedicate this site. If I could wave my magic wand, sprinkle my fairy dust and heal the scars, I would. All I (we) can do is share our positive message with the world. So StoryRhyme may be as much an ideology of good and how we wish the world worked as it is a tangible thing.
Three years later, StoryRhyme.com is visited by people every day from all over the globe, and we have well over 200 pages of quality content. We're not sure what our visitors take away from their experience, but we hope it's, at the very least, a positive one.
A special thank you to my husband, the creative genius who keeps StoryRhyme.com running. (And in such fabulous-looking fashion!) Also, thank you to Laura G. and Harry Buschman and my sister Kathy for sharing your voices and your stories with us and the world. Thank you to all of our faithful readers (you know who you are) for sharing in our little experiment.