Bocas Storytime launches for young readers
News day reporter
The NGC Children’s Bocas Lit Fest is launching an exciting new resource this weekend – Bocas Storytime, a dedicated YouTube channel for viewers ages 12 and under.
Bocas Storytime promises a diverse range of videos available on demand — read-alouds, animations, storytelling and fun workshops — all inspired by Caribbean books and culture, according to a press release. Young people can connect through a computer, mobile phone, tablet or TV.
The new YouTube channel will go live on April 30, with new content added regularly over the coming weeks. Viewers can search Bocas Storytime on YouTube and click the “subscribe” button to receive notifications about new content.
The launch of Bocas Storytime coincides with NGC Bocas Lit Fest 2022, aimed at adult readers and viewers, which runs from April 28 to May 1. Since the launch of the annual Trinidad and Tobago Literary Festival in 2011, children’s events have been an integral part of the program, according to the statement.
Festival director Nicholas Laughlin said children’s events are important and help create future readers and writers.
“In some ways it’s the most important part of what we do. The NGC Children’s Bocas Lit Fest provides fun and entertainment, but it also helps create a future generation of readers and writers, opening their eyes to the creative potential of words and stories. Our new YouTube channel will make our video content for kids under 12 even more convenient for kids and parents – they can watch their favorites anytime, as often as they want,” Laughlin said in the release.
“Bocas Storytime will develop young viewers’ language skills and enhance their understanding of the world around us, through topics such as carnival, folklore and the environment. It also features inspiring young writers, like six-year-old Coryn Clarke , TT’s youngest published author, and nine-year-old Josh Hansraj, a two-time winner of Dragonzilla’s short story writing challenge. all of whom have recently published their own books,” Lit Fest said in the statement.
Music also enters the mix, in the How to Become a Calypsonian video, featuring a reading aloud from a children’s book by Antigua and Barbuda author Desryn Collins, featuring a guest appearance by young performer Aaron Duncan. Jamaica’s reggae ‘royal family’ also make an appearance with a read-aloud from Ziggy Marley and his wife, Orly, who co-wrote Little John Crow, a heartwarming story with a lesson in accepting our differences. , according to the press release.
Other Bocas Storytime videos feature read-alouds by popular children’s authors TT Tracey Baptiste, Jeunenne Alkins, Neala Bhagwansingh, Liseanne Martin-Subero and Gail Morong. A special video produced in association with the TT Association for the Hearing Impaired (TTAHI) features author Raymond Antrobus reading from his book Can Bears Ski? accompanied by sign language interpretation. Kids can also explore their creativity with an art workshop by poet and artist Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné on The Jungle Outside.
NGC Children’s Bocas Lit Fest’s decision to produce online content for young viewers was a response to the covid19 pandemic, after health restrictions made it impossible to continue the festival’s beloved in-person events in 2020 and 2021 , according to the press release. Over the past two years, Dragonzilla’s dramatized storytelling videos, animations, and short story writing challenge have given young audiences access to engaging local content, even during the pandemic lockdown. The new YouTube channel is the next step in curating this treasure trove of free, age-appropriate online content for kids, according to the release.
The launch of the Bocas Storytime channel comes even as the festival plans to resume in-person programming later in 2022, including the return of the children’s storytelling caravan, which for nearly a decade has brought some of the best storytellers from TT to venues across the country to perform. young people and help them create their own stories, collected in a series of colorful illustrated books.
The National Gas Company is the title sponsor of the NGC Children’s Bocas Lit Fest.