top of page
  • Jocelyn Reyes

Joys of Storytime

By Jocelyn Reyes, Marketing & Outreach Representative

Participating as a storytime reader at the Gift of Knowledge Academy in Durham, NC was a highlight during my sophomore year. After attending the volunteer fair hosted at Duke University, I met the executive director of Gift of Knowledge Academy, Deborah Watkins. She was looking for a couple of student volunteers to read to her class and I knew it was the perfect opportunity! After a couple of email exchanges, we set up a date for my first storytime. I picked Stellaluna by Janell Cannon and it was a hit! I remember reading the book when I was in first grade and how sweet I thought it was. Seeing the children excited to predict what would happen next in the book brought me back to my days in first grade. By the end of my first storytime session, I knew I had to do it again!

From there, a semester-long partnership with Director Watkins’ class was created. We read books about snow, adventures, and bugs. A book the class particularly enjoyed was Big Bug Surprise by Julia Gran. As I read the book, I asked the class for their predictions, descriptions of what they saw, and opinions about the decisions the characters were making. My goal was to make it interactive and to encourage them to use their imagination. The class did a great job engaging and we ended the session by looking at pictures of bugs discussed in the book. I prepared some interesting facts about the bugs and connected the bugs to their outdoor environment.

The experience was such a treat! It was great to work with a class of kindergarten/first-graders and see their love for books flourish. It was also a pleasure to meet their mentor, Deborah Watkins. Her passion for children’s literacy was evident while working with her. Outside of her work at the Academy, she has also self-published children's books for young readers to build self-esteem and confidence.

Are you interested in attending a storytime session hosted by Book Harvest? Check out their events here:


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page