Kay Brown: The Story Frog Phonics Hartlepool
The Story Frog Phonics, Hartlepool, has recently been brought to the town by teacher, Kay Brown. The business, running from a number of different towns around the country, supports learning for Early Years children through story-telling and play. Kay knew she wanted to be a teacher from her early childhood, having been greatly inspired by two of her own teachers; Mr Wise, who cared deeply for his students, and Mr Bell, who Kay describes as a “captivating storyteller”. These two teachers helped Kay to develop her passion for stories and her desire to share it with others.
Despite her desire to teach, it was not until the age of thirty-one that Kay was able to follow her dreams of qualifying as a teacher. As a newly-single mother, Kay took on the challenge of enrolling in the primary teaching degree at Durham University. After an intense three years, she graduated in 2018 with a 2:1 honours and Qualified Teacher status. Kay then worked as a teacher in schools but, in 2021, she stepped away from full-time teaching, striving for a healthier work-life balance; though Kay continued to work in local schools as a supply teacher, this transition became a catalyst to starting her own business.
The Story Frog Phonics which began trading from Hartlepool in September 2021, delivers classes for Early Years children. Classes are each based on a story or rhyme, with a range of tailored activities including messy play, art and craft, designed to help children to develop communication, language, reading, and writing, and motor skills.
Kay hopes that, by delivering lessons centred around stories, she will help to inspire the next generation to love them as she does, stating:
“At The Story Frog Phonics Hartlepool, children begin their journey to becoming passionate readers and writers.”
During her time working in schools Kay also came to value the importance of play and the great outdoors, which now form the foundations of her approach to teaching and learning; she has recently gained her Coastal School Leader qualification to support this.
In January 2022, the business moved into its own premises within The Arches on Park Road, where Kay is continuing to grow the business’ operations. Kay has recently launched a new project named ‘The Power of Books Project Hartlepool’. The project was inspired by Kay’s own passion for reading and by a conversation she had with a child taken into emergency foster care during 2020 lockdown, who told her of having no books suitable to read. The aim of this project is to collect donations of gently pre-loved books for children and young adults and distribute them those within the local community who have little or no access to books of their own.
Find out more about The Story Frog Phonics Hartlepool on their website.