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'We want them to enjoy reading too’: Bedford couple creates platform for first responders to read to kids

Reading initiative ends May 29, last day of school

BEDFORD, Va. – David and Alyson Bishop are the creators of the YouTube video series called “Read with Bedford County."

The idea was born after Alyson, a third-grade teacher, had to end her classroom plans abruptly due to the coronavirus.

"A lot of the kids’ parents are asking me, ‘What’s the most important thing?’ And I just say, ‘You need to read with your kids or have your kids read a book,’” Alyson said.

Alyson started making home videos of herself reading to her class.

That’s when her husband David, a Bedford County sheriff’s deputy, thought it could do well on a bigger scale.

"I went to my wife’s classroom and I just cleaned out all the shelves of all the books and brought them back here to the office. Email went out to say, 'Hey, this is what we’re doing. Who’s interested?’” David said.

And the whole county has shown its interest.

On YouTube you’ll see some familiar faces like the county’s sheriff and fire chief reading some of their favorite books to kids.

"On YouTube I’ve got them scheduled. Every morning, every weekday at 6 a.m. they go live,” David said.

The Bishops have set up a mock studio in the sheriff's office with a laptop, webcam and several books for county employees to have a seat and read to the little ones.

"When we were little kids and we got read to you could sit there and listen to whoever was reading and make a story come alive,” Alyson said.

"So, if we can at least put another friendly face out there ... Not only do we love reading; we want them to enjoy reading too,” David said.

The reading initiative will go until May 29th, the last day of school.