Storytime Village: Making books a part of every child's life

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Courtesy: Storytime Village Courtesy: Storytime Village

A recent study by Kids Count of Kansas revealed more than half of fourth graders in the state's public schools scored below grade level in reading. Now, a local non-profit is working to reverse those numbers by making books a part of every child's life. 

Prisca Barnes, founder of Storytime Village says something magical happens when a child is given a book, and even more magic happens when someone reads the story to them. 

"What we do a lot of is spread the message about the importance of literacy, and how much it's important for a parent to read to their child," Barnes said. "And how important it is for the community to be concerned."

Storytime Village focuses its efforts on kids in kindergarten through third grade that attend underserved schools. 

"When you don't have the teachers or the schools don't have access to funds then we do what we do as a community," she said. 

Storytime Village not only supplies them with additional books, but also volunteers. Mentors go into the schools and even students' homes to encourage reading. It's to help bridge the gap in reading exposure to kids from families with limited income.

"Upper-class children hear more words than children from lower-class families," Barnes said. "It creates a word deficit."

Not only does the work done by Storytime Village mentors increase kids' vocabulary, it opens doors to opportunities and education. 

That's why KAKE News has partnered with The DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers to provide Storytime Village with a $500 check.

It's one more win for Kansas.  

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to


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