St. Clair ShoresSeptember 14, 2012
It’s back: Storytime returns to the library for fall
By Kristyne E. Demske
C & G Staff Writer
With the big kids back in school, it’s time for little ones to come back to the library with toddler, preschool and family storytimes back now through mid-November.
“We kind of pretend it’s school,” said St. Clair Shores resident Jennifer Platz, at the St. Clair Shores Public Library with her 2-year-old daughter, Bella. “It gets her ready for when she goes, even to preschool.”
Socialization is a great motivator, as well, she said, adding that Bella comes to First Stop for Tots on Wednesday and Thursday mornings and will also attend the Toddler Storytime on Tuesdays.
And while Toddler Storytime required advance registration, preschool and family storytimes do not require registration and are open to all on a drop-in basis.
Held on Tuesdays, Preschool Storytime is at 1:30 p.m. and Family Storytime is at 7 p.m. at the St. Clair Shores Public Library. They are aimed at 3-5 year olds and usually include several books, crafts, songs and other activities.
“They’re very popular,” said Assistant Library Director Sue Mihalic. “The preschool one … (is) becoming very nice. She gets a nice, appropriate group to work with, and Family (Storytime) has always been fairly popular, especially for families who work and can’t get there during the day.”
In addition to the storytimes, First Stop for Tots will continue on Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 10 a.m. During this time, the babies and children, accompanied by a caregiver, hear one book and sing plenty of nursery rhymes before getting a chance to have free play with toys and puzzles during Tot Time at 10:30 a.m.
Lisa Hanna, of St. Clair Shores, has been bringing her granddaughters, 3-year-old Ava Nofar and 1-year-old Grace Nofar, to First Stop for Tots and storytime at the library since they were born, and it has instilled a love of the institution in them.
“As soon as I tell the little one we’re going to the library, she’s at the door,” Hanna said. “No one offers what they have here. They’re learning to get along with other children … (and) how important reading is.
“They do a phenomenal job.”
Storytime is important for many reasons, Mihalic said.
“They’ve proven by a lot of studies that children who are read to at least 20 minutes a day are more ready to begin reading when they start school,” she said.
Kristin Hasselle has been bringing her 1-year-old, Jimmy, to First Stop for Tots all summer long.
“Before I started taking him to this, he wasn’t really open to being with other kids,” said the St. Clair Shores mom. “This has made him a different child.”
She also likes that it opens up the world of books to him at a young age.
“(Storytime at the library) gets them in to understand that reading is fun, and there’s all sort of different things to read about,” she said.
The activities also encourage families to read to their children at home.
“We get them into the library, and they have a good time and they keep coming back and checking out books,” Mihalic said.
She said the Sept. 25 storytimes will feature the Michigan Reads book, which is being read to children in libraries across the state. This year’s book is “Moose on the Loose” by Kathy-Jo Wargin, and the storytimes will include activities tied into the book. And when storytime ends for the fall on Nov. 13, there will be a “big circus event,” Mihalic said.
“We hope to go out with a bang, and then we’ll be coming back after the first of the year,” she said.
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