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Storytime with Mr. Stephen — For The Joy of Reading

Stephen Noble is an advocate for children’s literacy. He created a YouTube channel called “Storytime with Mr. Stephen” to get more kids to read and love books.

He shares, “I try to be proactive and intentional with choosing diverse books. I read some books that I enjoy, and I read books that I think need to be heard.”

Video Transcript

Meet Stephen Nobles: literacy advocate

Athens, Georgia

(Stephen Nobles sits at a small table in front of a classroom of children. He holds There’s a Wocket in my Pocket! by Dr. Seuss. Music plays in the background.)

Stephen Nobles: Can you guys hear it?

Students: Yes.

Stephen: All right. Let’s see if we can do it. I bet we can do this.

(Stephen sings to the beat “There’s a wocket in my pocket . . .”)

Can I stand up?

Students: Yes.

Stephen: I love to stand up. You ready?

(Stephen continues reading the book to the beat.)

I’m an advocate for literature and literacy. And I do “Story Time with Mr. Stephen” to fight the fight of getting more kids to read and love books like I did.

Reading for me is one of those things that a teacher can’t necessarily teach you how to do. It’s a passion that you have to develop yourself. The strongest readers are generally the readers who read the most. So, I came up with an idea to try to get kids engaged in reading. I read children’s stories in a way to get kids engaged and excited about books, words, and reading. And with edits and sound effects, you know, just try to make it fun and engaging.

(One of Stephen’s videos displays on the screen.) Rock versus paper, who do you guys think won?

It’s interesting that, it may seem funny, but even being an African-American male, I did not know initially that there was a need for African-American kids to see an African-American reading children’s books. So, now I try to be proactive and intentional with choosing diverse books. I read some books that I enjoy, and I read books that I think need to be heard.

(Stephen films himself reading I am Enough by Grace Byers) “Like the champ, I’m here to fight. Like the heart, I am here to love. And in the end, we are right here, to live a life of love, not fear.”

I know when I was growing up, I lived in an environment, and I grew up in an environment, where we didn’t always get to hear those words, and I think there’s nothing more impactful than just simply saying, “I am enough.” So I hope they enjoy it.

Now, the joy that I get to see on those kids’ faces— 

(Kids give Stephen hugs in a classroom) Thank you! How are you guys?

I really don’t think you can place a dollar amount on it. It genuinely gives me an excitement and fuel to just rush through the rest of my week or the rest of my year. So, seeing those smiles, man, I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

(Reading) I am enough. The end.

(Laughing) All right. Let’s get it. Subscribe to the Grotto Network.

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