This Christmas marks the eleventh anniversary of the Story Book Project, a program that aims on bringing families closer together despite current circumstances. The program allows current female inmates to record themselves reading a story, so their children are able to see their mothers on Christmas. The recording of the story being read by the mother, along with a personal message is sent to the child on Christmas.
This project started in 2003 in Austin, Texas, is run solely by volunteers who travel the to Gatesville and Plane/Henley prison facility. The program quickly gained popularity and spread throughout different regions of the country, which is also known as Project Story Book or other similar names.
According to the Story Book Project website, “Statistics show that one out of every five children of incarcerated parents also end up in prison. The project strives to change this statistic by developing strong relationships between mothers and their children.” If children are able to maintain some sort of relationship and connection with their imprisoned mothers then they may be able to stray from the same fate as they did.
Having an incarcerated mother can be a confusing and upsetting experience for any child, and especially during Christmas time where the world celebrates unity and love. A child may wonder why they cannot be with their mother, this project does add a special message of love, that even when a mother are not able to spend the holidays with their children, it shows that they want to have a connection to them, and for a small child that may be therapeutic during a complicated and especially needy time. The Story Book Project will premiere a seven-minute video on the PBS Newshour Weekend program.
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