Mansfield storyteller inspires children during lockdown with daily videos

A Mansfield woman is inspiring children near and far during lockdown with a series of Jackanory-style storytelling videos.

Tuesday, 19th January 2021, 11:34 am
Rosie Mclaughlin

Rosie Mclaughlin has been recording a daily story to keep pupils entertained during the latest nationwide lockdown.

The Reading with Rosie videos, which are available on YouTube, are designed to encourage children to pick up a book and have been watched hundreds of times already – with hits from Edinburgh to Essex and even some in Australia.

Rosie is a fundraising and events manager for Embark Federation, a charitable trust of 12 primary schools across Derbyshire.

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The trust decided to record the daily stories as a way of keeping in touch with pupils who are working at home and to encourage them to continue reading to improve their literacy levels and stimulate imaginations.

Rosie was chosen for the concept thanks to her background in acting – before moving into education, she made appearances in the big screen version of ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ starring Carey Mulligan and the BBC adaptation of ‘Great Expectations’.

Rosie, who is mum to three-year-old Ralph and Ruby, six, said: “Not every child has a parent who can read to them each day, so we thought this was a good way to ensure our pupils were still engaged with books, which can be a wonderful way to escape when we are all stuck at home.

“We’ve tried to make them visually interesting. I deliberately wear bright colours and we’ve filmed them at different locations, including the farm where I live, so there are animals and tractors.

“This is an unstable and anxious time for every family, so we felt it was important to reach out and provide children with a connection outside of their homes. I’ve had some lovely feedback from parents who are delighted their children are listening to a story and it also gives them a five-minute break from home schooling.

“I’ve started to receive requests for specific books too, both from teachers who want to tie the story in with their lessons and from children who have their own suggestions.”

Trust leader at Embark Federation, Matthew Crawford, said: “Rosie is ensuring all children are read to and bringing a smile to the faces of children and adults at a time when it is very much needed.”