This Post Is Sponsored By The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. As Always, All Opinions Are My Own. Thank You For Sponsoring CityGirlGoneMom.

One of the greatest gifts these past few months at home has given us is the gift of time. Time to connect with each other (and hide from each other when we need a break), time to disconnect from our phones and, a mom’s dream, more time to read.

Thanks to my background in broadcast journalism, reading has been a great love of mine for years and years. But, as a mom, it can be a little difficult to motivate my kids to read when it’s up against making TikToks, dancing it out in the yard or playing games on their phones.

Our solution? Podcasts.

Currently, 45 million Americans are functionally illiterate and cannot read above a fifth-grade level.

kids reading a storybook mom and baby kissing

The Wonderful World of Reading

Remember how special storytime was when you were a kid? Snuggled up in bed while someone reads you a bedtime tale. That’s the kind of nostalgic comfort I feel with Barbara Bush’s new podcast, Mrs. Bush’s Story Time.

With all my kids, and especially with Boss Baby Brody, this podcast has been the key to unlocking a new passion for stories and the adventures we can all experience through these memorable tales.

According to the Department of Education, the more students read or are read to for fun on their own time and at home, the higher their reading scores.

boys reading with dogmom and son reading

Mrs. Bush’s Story Time

As an extension of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, this all-new podcast makes the wonderful literary world that much more accessible for all of the young readers in your family. Each episode features archived audio recordings from the former First Lady’s radio reading program, which originally aired from 1990-1994.

Jack and the Bean Stalk, The Ugly Duckling, Corduroy—Mrs. Bush reads all of your favorite classic tales aloud with some episodes featuring special guests like Winnie the Pooh, Daffy Duck and even Oprah (yes, Oprah!). It’s a walk down memory lane for the adults and an exciting new world for the little ones.

Brody loved one of the most recent episodes, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, because it’s co-hosted by Mickey and Minnie Mouse. In case you forgot, we take Disney very seriously in this house.

Books contain many words that children are unlikely to encounter frequently in spoken language. Books for kids actually contain 50 percent more words that children are unlikely to encounter frequently than regular conversation, TV or radio.

Story Time With the Schaffers

Reading has become our nightly routine. Whether it’s Roman reading to Brody—cue heart melting—or all of us gathering on the couch to listen to Mrs. Bush’s Story Time, it’s a family affair that connects us all.

To take the experience up a notch, we’ll read along with the actual book if we have it on hand! With four kids in tow, it’s safe to say we have every children’s book under the sun. But if we don’t, it’s easy to grab a digital version for everyone to read along. We love Strega Nona to get in touch with our Italian roots. This makes it feel even more interactive and immersive, plus it helps your young readers develop integral reading skills.

Mrs. Bush’s Story Time, the new podcast from the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, is available now at or wherever you listen to podcasts. Now pop the popcorn—it’s storytime!

Nationally, about half of children between birth and five years (47.8%) are read to every day by their parents or other family members.

mom and son reading together


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