Project Bedtime Story provides incarcerated women and men at Denver County Jail with a unique, and sometimes very emotional, opportunity, to share a story book with their children. Every Monday afternoon, 10-20 incarcerated parents and grandparents read story books to their children into voice recorders. After they read the books and add a personal message, the book and CD are then sent to the children to to enjoy over and over. This project bridges the distance between incarcerated parents and their chldren. In addition to comforting the child and parent, the effort also helps build the child’s library of books, helps develop language and listening skills, encourages a love of reading and a sense of curiosity, helps promotes literacy throughout the family, helps increase the child’s prospects for success in school and life, and strengthens the bond they share.
Although their interaction is only through recorded words, even the practice of reading to a child and sending along a message of love can provide visible and lasting benefits. When a parent is incarcerated, it seems as though the whole family is incarcerated. Even though some people are only held briefly, the damage to the family dynamic, especially their relationship, can be traumatic. The more connection there is, the less chance there is of recidivism.
Children are never too young to have stories read to them, kids form so much of their intellectual potential during the early years of their life. Kids and parents use reading time as bonding time. Project Bedtime Story is an excellent opportunity for one-on-one communication – giving the children the attention they crave, where physical contact is no longer an option.
The project provides books for children of all ages. Because we mail the books and CD, paperback picture books are easiest and cheapest to mail, however nice hardcover picture books can last a lifetime. Currently, we are not funded through any grant source, and all money spent comes out of Empowerment’s General Fund. New books are so special, but gently used books are great too.
Most needed books: Picture books for preschool/elementary children & baby/toddler books such as board books. Really, any children’s book would be wonderful! It’s great when a child is able to experience the rhythm and melody of language even before they can fully understand the spoken or printed word. Any and all assistance is very much appreciated.
Donations may be dropped off at our office located at 1600 York Street, Denver, Colorado, 80206 or I can pick them up if you live in the area.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me by phone at 303-320-1989 ext. 238 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your consideration in becoming a book donor!! I look forward to hearing from you. Have a wonderful day!
The Empowerment Program, Inc.