With the school year already in full swing, the LaGrange Memorial Library’s Weekly Story Time, a preschool reading program, is also going strong. Every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., the children’s librarian, Debbie Atkins leads a group of youngsters, accompanied by their parents, grandparents or caregivers, through an exciting and fun interactive reading experience.
Each week, Atkins plans activities based on a given theme. Atkins uses a combination of songs, finger plays, stories and crafts to entertain the children and enhance their experience on that week’s topic. Preschool literacy programs, such as this one, benefit children in many ways.
“Reading aloud to children helps them to improve their language and vocabulary skills, while they also develop a love of books and reading,”said Atkins. “Research shows that songs and acting help children with their coordination and increases their aptitude for learning,” Atkins stated.
Yesterday, in preparation of this coming weekend’s celebration, the topic was “Grandparents”.
As they arrived, the preschoolers were allowed to explore the books and play items in the children’s section of the library. On this particular day, mothers and/or grandmothers accompanied them to the program. The children ranged in ages between two months and five years. The adults interacted with each other and the children as they gradually got the youngsters to be seated on the carpeted steps by the windows. Librarian Atkins, greeted by all as Miss Debbie, then started the program.
Miss Debbie introduced the topic to her young audience asking them if they knew what special day this coming Sunday was. She then went on to have the children sing special songs, which were familiar tunes whose lyrics had been changed so that they were all about grandparents. After the songs, the children listened, laughed and added a few of their own comments, while Miss Debbie read them stories all about grandmothers and grandfathers.
During the last portion of the program, the children moved to tables to begin the day’s craft. Miss Debbie offered careful instructions, and with the adults’ assistance, each child produced their own greeting card that they could give to their grandparents this Sunday.
As a result of Librarian Atkins’ careful planning and years of experience working with children’s literacy projects and programs, the children and adults all seemed to enjoy themselves. The children had a positive learning experience, a time to socialize and thanks to the LaGrange Memorial Library; they may also be a step closer to becoming avid readers.
Preschool children, who are accompanied by an adult, are welcome to take advantage of this wonderful weekly program. The program’s schedule follows the regular public school calendar, observing the same vacations and holidays.
For further information concerning the LaGrange Memorial Library either visit their website at http://thrl.org, or call them directly at 706-882-7784.