When was the last time you stopped and took the time to sit down a read a good book? A local teacher came up with a way to get kids more excited to do just that. 

When you walk into Barb Sanchez’s home, you’ll see books placed on shelves as if they are artwork. She’s been a teacher in the Williamsville School District for 30 years, and truly believes in the importance of reading.

“I think the sooner we get books in children’s hands, and get a love for literature, the more they’re exposed to world outside their own backyard,” she said. “And they can look at themselves, but they can also look at other people and join in those adventures.”

She came up with the idea of Barb’s Book Buddies about two years ago. She reads to a live audience of young kids, and makes the book come to life. She posts recordings of the readings on her YouTube page. With so many kids interested in their electronics, she wanted to create a place kids could go to listen to her readings, and get interested in literature. 

“In many children’s books there’s a repetitive word,” she said. “So, let’s say the word is button. So I have a button hiding somewhere, and they find the button, and when I read the word button, they hold it up.”

While she reads, she teaches, and gets kids excited about learning about books.

“What is a stoop? Hmmmm we’ll have to think about that,” she says while reading. 

She’s also starting to incorporate local writers. 

“I would really love it to become a platform for independent authors,” she said. “It’s very hard to get these published, and get books out there in the mainstream.”
Sanchez hopes to grow Barb’s Book Buddies, and make it mobile, reading at different locations other than her home, and getting her videos to kids everywhere. 
“We’re not going to fight the technology, nor should we, we should engage it, we should embrace it, and we need to have positive alternatives.”
For a link to Barb’s Book Buddies, and to learn more about getting involved, click here.