Start With Sleep Story Time emphasizes importance of reading aloud to kids

Local News

Children of all ages have the chance to interact with a New York Times best-selling author this weekend.

Susan Verde, author of I Am Human: A Book of Empathy, is kicking off the Start With Sleep Story Time for Kids series on Saturday at 11 a.m. at 1211 Hertel Ave, Buffalo.

Start With Sleep and Empowered Publicity have teamed up to launch the events, which will take place the first Saturday of every month this summer. They’re intended to highlight the importance of reading aloud to children of all ages.

“One of the most engaging experiences you can have is to connect with a child, your own child or if you’re a caregiver of a child, to share the message of a children’s book,” said Jonathan Masiulionis, president of Empowered Publicity.

The children’s book messages often foster creativity, compassion, and language skills for kids.

Reading to children at bedtime also helps create healthy sleep habits for life.

“Fundamentally, when we’re talking about our mental, emotional and behavioral health, sleep is at the foundation of that,” said Soda Kuczkowski, a sleep health educator and the Start With Sleep owner and founder. 

“When we’re putting ourselves to bed at the appropriate time, and we’re establishing bedtime routines, all of those things carry on into adulthood,” Kuczkowski added. 

A love of reading and learning also carries into adulthood when regular reading sessions begin early-on. 

“I feel that children’s books really are the nourishment for one’s heart, for one’s mind, and for one’s soul,” Masiulionis said.

In addition to reading during the Start With Sleep Story Time for Kids sessions, the authors will also lead activities for families.

Susan Verde will be joining via the internet for a question and answer session and to lead yoga and meditation practices.

Children’s author and the owner of Rolling Rock Ranch Alpacas, Michael James, joins the second Start With Sleep Story Time For Kids on Saturday, July 6 at 11 a.m. to share the courageous story of Princess Pumpkin, The Pocket Alpaca. The activity for that morning will involve a craft project with alpaca hair.

On August 3, children’s author and the founder of The Hug Alliance & Hug The Moment, Rick Morrison will share his best-selling children’s book The Hug Store, co-authored by his daughter, Shana.

Each Start With Sleep Story Time for Kids session begins at 11 a.m. They are all open to kids of all ages.

News 4’s Katie Alexander had the chance to learn more about the Start With Sleep Story Time series on Wednesday morning. Watch the videos below to see our Wake Up coverage. 

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