With school closures extended until May 4th, parents are struggling to keep their kids occupied. But a growing number of community members are taking to Facebook for virtual story-times.
“Good morning, boys and girls,” exclaimed Sargent Mike Assad Jr. in a video posted to the Mashpee Police Department’s Facebook page. “I’m going to read you guys another story today.”
Assad can often be found in schools as the head of the community service unit. But now, he’s making his presence known in videos where he reads books like, “How Full Is Your Bucket?,” by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer, “Pinkalicious,” by Victoria and Elizabeth Kahn, and “The Little Fire Engine” by Lois Lenski, which he reads from a firetruck.
“I’ve always wanted to read a book from a Firetruck,” he begins. “Today my dream is coming true.”
Combined, the videos have nearly 50,000 views. The reach thrilled Assad.
“That was the perfect thing for me,” he said in a recent phone interview. “I have two young kids and that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to put smiles on young kids faces.”
Since posting his first video, another officer and dispatcher with the department have made their own. Mashpee police aren’t alone. Artists, educators, and even a Falmouth-based Spanish teacher, Maria Pechuk, have joined in.
“Hasta mañana! Adios amigos,” she sings at the end of each video.
Pechuk says she wants to help familiarize kids with Spanish from a young age.
Her videos are a chance to “have the connection with the kids and be a small part of [their] success in the future.”