Patty and Lulu Wong reading at the Cloverdale Library.

Patty and Lulu Wong reading at the Cloverdale Library.

Storytime more than what you’ve heard

Children given opportunities to develop literacy, social skills at the Cloverdale Library.

Storytime at the Cloverdale Library is more than just fun – it also provides an important learning experience.

“Storytimes are more than just entertainment for children, although they certainly are entertaining,” said Youth Services Librarian Carmen Merrells. “Fun songs, rhymes, stories and puppet tales actually help children and their caregivers in several ways.”

When children sing songs, clap and recite rhymes they are not only having fun, but also becoming aware of the sounds that make up words, a literacy skill known as phonological awareness. It’s just one of many literacy skills pre-schoolers can learn through storytimes at their local library and use as building blocks for when they begin to read.

Merrells said that storytimes support early literacy skills – the roots of reading success – such as vocabulary building, language development, letter knowledge and narrative skills.

Children who attend storytimes in a group setting are also given the opportunity to develop social skills, which themselves are pathways to learning, said Merrells.

“As well, storytimes broaden children’s imaginations,” she said. “A wonderful gift in itself and a foundation for a lifelong love of reading and creative thinking.”

What the children learn at the library, they take home with them to practice. “Research shows that parent-child interaction is essential for children’s language and vocabulary building,” said Merrells. “By stimulating children’s interest in stories, which encourages reading together, and trying out the songs and rhymes they learned at storytime, parents and caregivers are not only strengthening their relationships with their children but also building wonderful foundations for reading and learning success.”

Recently, a Cloverdale parent expressed their love of the storytime program to Cloverdale Library staff. “We love storytime and look forward to it every week,” she said.  “The proof of the pudding: a child with above-average communication skills, which makes for fewer tantrums and a more fun home and out-in-the-world experience.”

The Cloverdale Library’s storytimes are free, drop-in programs for children of all ages. Join them on Monday nights from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. for pajama storytime.