Twenty years ago, Laguna Beach resident Julia Johnson embraced a simple concept. Interest children in reading by reading to them at the best place to find stories: the public library. Johnson and her then Ticktocker daughter, Candace, both took up the cause with pleasure.
That idea blossomed into an early childhood literacy program. Johnson, a trained actor, developed a travelling literacy program at various county public libraries.
Each year, she recruited Ticktocker members to complete regular training sessions before joining Sunshine Readers. With her encouragement and theatrical background, Johnson brought even the most reserved Ticktocker out of her shell to refine their public speaking skills. Add in a little bit of theatrical training, and Johnson devised a recipe for captivating storytelling.
Today, Sunshine Readers is credited with going beyond early literacy to serve as a building block for early listening and speaking skills and language development.
After 20 years of engaging children’s imaginations by storytelling, the program has touched thousands of lives.