Fox News’ Dana Perino reads to children stuck at home amid coronavirus with daily 'Story Time with Dana'

Fox News host and avid reader Dana Perino has turned her love of books into a way to help children who are stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic with “Story Time with Dana.”

“I remember learning from Laura Bush after 9/11 the important of making sure that you kept story time for your children. This is what she was telling Americans and, also, Barbara Bush, through her literacy initiative would always say that one of the most important things you could do to keep children calm and reassured… is to make sure that story time was something that you tried to do every day,” Perino told Fox News Digital.

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As a result, Perino will read a children’s book to youngsters on FoxNews.com and other social platforms weekdays at 3:30 p.m. ET “for as long as we need to” during the crisis.

Fox News host Dana Perino will read to children on a daily basis while Americans are stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Fox News host Dana Perino will read to children on a daily basis while Americans are stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

The new series started when Perino, who anchors “The Daily Briefing” and co-hosts “The Five,” noticed the streets of Manhattan were empty on her walk to work on Tuesday.

“I was feeling quite overwhelmed, on behalf of other people, all the people that work at these restaurants and bars, people that I see in my neighborhood every day. Then I started thinking about all the kids that are not going to school, the parents that are worried about health and the economy,” Perino said. “One of the things I have always believed in is trying to figure out a way to channel anxiety into something positive.”

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Perino was hardly the only person feeling overwhelmed by the suddenly different world caused by coronavirus in which many people are forced to work from home while their children’s schools were shuttered.

“I was in touch with a lot of friends who have younger children, “ Perino said. “All of the sudden everyone is at home and their routines are disrupted. Families are trying to figure out, ‘OK so how do we keep doing our jobs and take care of our children?’”

Perino, an avid book enthusiast who also hosts “Dana Perino’s Book Club” on Fox Nation, began thinking about ways to help and decided to get creative.

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“It just hit me,” she said. “Maybe we could do this as a Facebook Live, where I read to kids so that my friends, and viewers that want to tune in with their kids, could get about 20 minutes of peace with their kids being occupied and quiet while they’re able to do the dishes, or throw the laundry in, or maybe just sit down and have a quiet moment with their kids.”

Perino decided to give it a try at 3:30 p.m., in between her two daily Fox News Channel programs, and by Wednesday morning she had a stack of six randomly selected children’s books.

She wasn’t sure if anyone would tune in, or if viewers would enjoy having a cable news host reading to their kids over the internet – but it turned out to be a hit. Perino has roughly 900,000 Facebook followers and Fox News’ page, which shared the video, added a whopping 17 million more followers to make for a massive potential audience.

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“I don’t have kids. I haven’t read to kids in a long time, so I don’t even know if I’m doing it well,” Perino said.

“Story Time with Dana” will stream on FoxNews.com and other social platforms weekdays at 3:30 p.m. ET.

“Story Time with Dana” will stream on FoxNews.com and other social platforms weekdays at 3:30 p.m. ET.

The comments and feedback were significantly positive, as Perino received emails from friends and colleagues encouraging her to make “Story Time with Dana” a regular thing.

One FNC staffer from “The Story with Martha MacCallum” even shared photos of her niece donning a Snow White princess dress to watch the former press secretary’s video, while old White House colleagues reached out, too.

“A lot of times on social media, especially if you’re talking about the news or politics, things can be either mixed or quite mean, but none of this was,” Perino said.

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“I realize that right now, with everything parent are trying to deal with as we go through this shut down and try to help our fellow citizens by staying at home, it might not always be easy to keep a routine or start a new routine, so if I could just do one little thing, that at 3:30 everyday people can gather and have me read a book – even if I don’t do it that well – I’m going to keep doing it for as long as we need to.”

“Story Time with Dana” will stream on FoxNews.com and other streaming platforms weekdays at 3:30 p.m. ET.