“Stories are such powerful containers of human experience. Through listening and reading to stories, children – and adults – can connect with different aspects and complexities of life as shared symbolically by the characters and conflicts in the stories. This can support us and our children to make sense of our feelings and experiences, and this can be especially important during difficult moments.”
These are the words of Lou Ghirlando, one of the founders of My Storytime – a Facebook page which was set up about a month ago to bring joy and imagination to children (and some adults too) during the COVID-19 pandemic and which has already amassed over 4,000 followers.
Apart from Lou, the other founders are Pia Zammit, Coryse Borg, Rachel Ellul Mercer and Marija Schranz.
Together with some friends who they have roped in – such as Thomas Camilleri, Vicky-Ann Cremona, Rachel Fabri Camilleri and Sandra Scerri – they read stories in English and Maltese every weekday. Their target audience is children from a very tender age, all the way up to 12 and beyond.
Providing much-needed respite to caregivers
Marija states that books provide a wonderful and magical escape into many worlds, sometimes beyond our imagination.
“At a time when we are quite literally confined to very limited space, books can help transport us beyond the four walls we’re stuck in. My Storytime also provides some much-needed respite to caregivers who are suddenly having to play teacher, doctor, parent, best friend, trainer and so much more, 24 hours a day, non-stop, in a very limiting reality. Live story telling also exposes children to tales they may not have come across and to an eloquent use of language which in turn will enrich their own,” she says.
A time of extreme upheaval for adults and children alike.
Rachel thinks that My Storytime is so needed in these times of extreme upheaval for adults and children alike.
“The stories are varied and entertaining for people of all ages. It gives everyone a change to listen to something other than news or worrying statistics. Just sit, listen and let your mind relax whilst engaging in great stories and storytellers,” she says.
Storytime Hour is daily, from Monday to Friday, at 5.00 pm (CET). The readings remain online for a short while following the live reading. Where there is copyright permission to do so, some of the stories remain online indefinitely.
You may access the My Storytime Facebook page here.
My Storytime is coming to Newsbook.com.mt
Newsbook.com.mt will be featuring a reading from My Storytime every Tuesday at 11.00 am (it will then remain online) as from the 21st April 2020.
Happy listening and happy reading.