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 Story Behind, Storytime  

Date of Publish - Sunday, 28th January 2018

In 2013 when Noel Benno met a young girl, Ann, at a shelter home, he was pleasantly surprised to learn that the girl, who could have asked for anything, only wanted to be given a few story books.

Noel was a college student at that time, and when he told his friends about this incident, they got together and collected a few storybooks for her. Noel recalls how Ann’s face lit up when she saw the books. Noel and his friends were incredibly moved with her reaction, and the incident inspired them to establish Storytime, an initiative which sets up small libraries in rural schools and communities, to provide access to a reading environment to school kids from underprivileged backgrounds.

Storytime is an initiative that started off as an attempt by a group of college students to fulfill a child's wish to read. Storytime today is an international network of volunteers who set up reading environments in under-resourced schools and communities. From 2013 to today, Storytime has had several initiatives under their umbrella ranging from single shelf libraries to library renovations to reading buddies, with a presence in over 4 countries across the globe.
Storytime has created 25 reading spaces which approximately stock 13,000 used books over the course of five years spread in 10 states.

With a vision that every child on the planet has the right to acquire quality reading, a group of twenty-year-olds wanted to change the world by providing children in under-resourced communities with access to storybooks. They did so by collecting used storybooks and delivering it to schools which needed them.

Each reading space costs approximately around Rs. 16000-20000/- and With the help of friends and friends of friends and crowd funding and amazing volunteers, this group of youngsters started setting up libraries in schools and often communities which needed them. From bookshelf corners to school libraries, each library was custom made to fit the needs of the children.

The Storytime network is now an all-volunteer network across 4 countries, helping to set up reading environments in schools and communities unlike conventional libraries. The program has diversified into reading programs apart along with physical reading spaces.
Reading spaces are all transformed in a very creative manner sometimes using tyres to transform into chairs, sometimes old t-shirts turning into bean bags for the reading space, sometimes up cycled from schools.

To create a uniquely designed, functional, low cost learning area that includes new book collections.
 An environment conducive to learning and play.
Provide the space with plenty of learning aids so that they support the school's curriculum and serve as the educational hub of the school.


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