Software Lets You Read Aloud to Far-Away Children
New software developed by a couple of grandparents from Texas enables old-fashioned storytime in a new-fangled way.
Doug and Sherry Gleason of Plano, a Dallas suburb, created Storycorder software so that parents, grandparents and others can “read” to children who are hundreds or thousands of miles away because of business travel, military deployment or simple geographical separation. The Gleasons said their invention of Storycorder stemmed from the desire to stay close to their far-away grandchildren.
Storycorder software allows someone to record the reading of a book aloud, burn that recording to a CD and create a CD/book package to send to a child.
“Our overriding goal in creating Storycorder was to make it as easy as possible for a person to record the reading of a book so the child can clearly follow along,” Doug Gleason said.
Storycorder lets the narrator listen to each page as it’s recorded and record it again until the results are satisfactory. It also embeds a sound effect that signals the child to turn the page.
“Other read-record books might be available, but Storycorder is software you can use to record any book—and any number of books,” Sherry Gleason said. “It frees the parent and grandparent to send their little loved ones a reading from their favorite books, making it extremely personal.”
The downloadable software costs $24.95. A package that authorizes five additional recordings costs $9.95.
For now, the software works only on PCs. A Mac version of Storycorder is in the works.
The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends reading to children because it stimulates brain and language development and promotes a closer emotional bond with a child. Every year, 35 percent of American children start kindergarten without the language skills they need to learn how to read, the pediatricians’ group says.Continued on the next page