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New program allows Leon County inmates virtual family reading time with their kids

Posted at 7:17 PM, Nov 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-02 19:17:49-04

LEON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — Leon County is making it easier for children to connect with their incarcerated parents.

On Tuesday, they launched their Family Time and Tales program in connection with the LeRoy Collins Leon County Main Library.

It works like this: a supervising parent can bring their child to this designated space at the library. The child then picks an age-appropriate book and reads it with the incarcerated parent on a video call.

"When parents are incarcerated, and they're separated from their children, they're missing something," said Gloria McSwain, grandmother. "So anytime that they can connect with their parent, it says a thousand things to that child, and it makes them feel closer to their parent."

The child will also get to take the book home.

Family Time and Tales is the first of its kind partnership between a library and a detention facility in the Southeast.