Sunday, April 13, 2008

Kids Share Stories To Get Stories

In these modern day times, if it doesn’t say, Harry Potter and the whatchamacallit, or, The Chronicles of Narnia: insert the subheader of your choice here, on the cover, then many kids across the country are probably not going to read it.

With video game sales at an all time high, and the internet providing ample entertainment for children, both parent-friendly and not, it would take a miracle to get children back under a lamplight and absorbed in the latest book from their favorite author.

Or maybe not.

Enter Storytube, a national contest that utilizes the internet itself to get kids back into books, similar to ye olden times when cable modems and Playstation 3’s weren’t so prevalent.

“We’re hoping that it’s pretty successful,” says senior librarian, Debbie Jack, who happens to be promoting the event. “It’s a way to get children interested in books.”

This is all part of the Sussex County Library’s sponsorship of Storytube, which has involved putting up flyers and informing members of the library of its presence. But since it’s so widely spread out across the country, from town libraries to schools, there’s no telling how far any of the Sussex County Library children will go, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

“Because it’s a national program, we don’t know what our chances are,” says Ms. Jack.
But while judging the overall outcome of the winners of Storytube might be difficult, the general rules of the competition are simple. Using the video friendly site, YouTube, as its start-up hub, kids, from grade levels 1-6, upload two minute videos of themselves reviewing books they might have recently read. These books can include poetry, graphic novels, and everything in between.
There’s a twist though that lies in the categories that can be reviewed. Out of the four categories that are eligible, there’s, “Hair-Raising Tales” (Think R.L. Stine’s, Goosebumps), “From or For the Heart” (Sentimental stories), “Of Heroes and Heroines” (Stories about heroes, real or fake) and “Facts, Fads, and Persons” (This is where non-fiction fits in).

After the kids post their review on Youtube, they then send the web-address to Storytube where the voting begins on May 5th all the way through June 1st. The deadline for submissions ends on April 20th.

Kids better get on the ball though for submissions, especially if they want to win that $500 prize of free books that the competition is offering. The Sussex County Library is also set to receive $1000 in books if somebody registered with the library happens to win the competition.


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