Bedtime stories were a childhood staple we remember fondly in our adult years. But unfortunately, not every parent has the time or ability to read to their kids on a regular basis.
Delaware sisters Zaria and Hailey Willard, on the other hand, say their mom has been reading to them since they were born. It’s the reason they both love reading so much. It’s also why they feel so strongly about sharing their passion — and making a difference for other children.
At 13 and eight years old, respectively, Zaria and Hailey are already setting a fantastic example not just to their three younger siblings, but to children they’ve never met in person. That’s because five nights a week, they can be found reading bedtime stories on Facebook live.
“Parents sometimes work late or are too tired for stories,” the sisters explained. “We are not only helping children, we are giving parents a nice break after a long day of work.”
From Dr. Seuss classics to books with diverse characters, the sisters are on a mission to raise the literacy rate with each live reading. Every Sunday, they peruse their local library, picking out books for all of their broadcasts throughout the following week. And each night, they take turns reading.
Their favorites include books that promote representation and inclusion. “When we read stories we … try to use black characters because we don’t see a lot of that around here so we’re here to tell people that black kids are out there too,” Hailey said.
While some readings only last a few minutes, they mean so much to everyone who watches them, including kids and parents. The sisters have an audience of nearly 100 whenever they go live, but afterwards, their videos go on to amass thousands of views. Their Facebook page, Zaria X Hailey, is constantly being flooded with messages of love and support.
“It makes me happy that it helps somebody,” Zaria said. “It makes me feel good when I go online.”
These girls are sure something special, aren’t they? Now they’re currently working on their own children’s book series about their family. But in the meantime, you can catch them reading Monday through Friday nights on Facebook. If you have kiddos of your own, we’re sure they’d love to listen in!
Check out one of Zaria’s short readings below, and share this story with other parents whose kids would enjoy their bedtime stories!
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