Bedtime Stories is a programme that goes into prisons
and records prisoners reading stories for their
The book and the recording of the parent or
relative reading the book is sent home along
with message to their children. The goal is to keep
mothers and in the future hopefully fathers connected to their
children during forced separation. This encourages children to know
that they are loved and wanted, even when Mum can't be around
because she is incarcerated.
The programme gives children the opportunity to
hear the voice of someone special to them whenever they need to.
(Be it Mum, Aunty or Grandma who can't be physically
It gives women, who have had a traumatic time, the
opportunity to do something positive for their children whilst they
also learn to heal and re-parent themselves.
The Bedtime Stories Programme promotes literacy
and getting good quality books into the homes of vulnerable
children. Key to the functioning is the donation or good quality
Miranda Harcourt, our
Patron, trialled The Bedtime Stories programme for 6
sessions in 2014 and for the past two years Kerryn Palmer has been
facilitating a group of people to make this programme happen on a
monthly basis at Arohata Prison.
Up until now, we have been very generously
supported with books from Clean Slate Press who have gifted us
1000's of dollars worth of books to keep this programme
going. In order to keep the programme sustainable
though, we want to be able to purchase more books through them and
through other publishers. We go through around 30 books per
session, our technician spends around ten hours making the
recordings and preparing them to be sent out and our two
facilitators spend 3 hours on running the actual programme each
The team have been requested to expand the
programme to other prisons due to the positive impact it has had in
the lives of women in prison and their children. We are looking for
funding to provide sustainability for our work at Arohata, to set
up a programme in Rimutaka and to facilitate other
organisations to take on the programme
"Kids need stories. Kids need to hear their mums'
voices. Kids need loving focus. Kids with mums in prison miss out
on these things and this programme helps to redress the balance. I
was part of this initiative at the start and am so thrilled that it
gets to keep going because Kerryn Palmer and her team have the
passion and smarts to make it happen. I am donating to help kids
who have a hard time kicking off their life through no fault of
their own. Hope you will donate too!"