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4th grader making reading videos ‘so kids can focus on the good in the world’ amid pandemic

4th grader in Battle Creek making YouTube videos of herself reading children’s books to inspire kids to read while at home
4th grader reading to kids ‘so they can focus on the good in the world’ amid pandemic
Posted at 7:46 PM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-31 20:57:56-04

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Savannah Feltner has been pretty bored since schools closed a few weeks ago due to the coronavirus pandemic, she said.

Savannah misses her friends at Ann J. Kellogg Elementary school, where she’s vice president of the student council, she added.

However all the time at home has given her the chance to do the one thing she loves most: read.

“I like to read a lot,” Savannah said during an interview with FOX 17 on Tuesday. “Books are like a transportation portal to like a different alternate universe so that you can just go into their world and see how they feel.”

Savannah’s in the fourth grade and her favorite book is The Outsiders, she said. She also enjoys reading anything by Stephen King.

However, lately, she’s been reading children’s books while her parents record her. Then they upload them to her YouTube channel ‘Reading with Savannah.’

“I’ve been reading books to little kids so they can focus on the good in the world and not the negativity,” Savannah said.

She’s been reading a range of books, from preschool-age up to third grade. And, Savannah's been asking her young viewers questions as she reads

“We just started a couple of days ago and the response has been very positive,” said Savannah’s mom Crystal Drake. “It’s actually inspired her and made her even more eager to do it because she sees that just one small little thing can turn into a really big positive thing.”

Savannah’s already posted several videos to her YouTube channel. She was inspired to do it after her teacher Amanda Bryant posted videos online of herself reading books to her students.

“I started doing some Junie B. Jones readings and posting some challenges at the end,” Bryant said. “Our principal always says make sure the reading has a purpose, which I think is really important. So I been adding those challenges to give it purpose.”

Savanah’s been doing the same, she said. She’s even challenged her friends and classmates to start making videos of them reading children’s books and posting them online.

“Your teacher can sit here and read you a book but when you see your peer doing it it’s a lot more motivating,” Bryant said. “And when they call you out and they’re like ‘hey, challenge for you, now you do it.’ I was like ‘Yes, Savannah. You go girl.’”

Bryant said she was proud.

Drake agreed.

Savannah said she’s going to continue to read and spread positivity.

“I’m going to post a video every single day until this pandemic is done,” Savannah said. “So that everybody has a little bit of kindness.”