Bedtime Stories From Inside

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Bedtime Stories is a programme that goes into prisons and records prisoners reading stories for their children.

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 there.)
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 books.

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 time. 
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 nationally. 

"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!"
Miranda Harcourt