Although the Hutto Public Library has paused all in-person programming due to the ongoing pandemic, Library Manager Jessica McCart has worked hard to continue offering Preschool Story Time via Facebook.
"Virtual story Time just looks like silliness and fun. However, it actually incorporates early literacy practices that will help children build skills for reading readiness," said McCart.
The practices include
- Singing - Singing helps children hear smaller sounds in words, which helps with phonological awareness. Singing will also include words not included in everyday conversation.
- Reading - Reading exposes children to a broader and richer vocabulary. Reading books together also helps with print awareness, showing children that print holds meaning and books contain letters and words. Having a broader language before learning to read will help children be more prepared to see those words in print.
Since the programs are offered via Facebook instead of a in a larger group setting, McCart has some tips for parents to get the most out of story time with your children.
Interact with your children during story time, and engage them mentally and physically. Sing the songs and ask questions about the book. For instance, while reading Alan’s Big, Scary Teeth , you can ask “how do you think it made Alan feel to lose his teeth?” Such questions really engage children to the story, and assist with conceptual thinking skills.
- Don't wait for the published Story Time video to read to your children.
- Have fun with it! You are your child’s first, and favorite, teacher! They look up to you and will mimic you. When reading, singing, and playing together, know that it’s okay to be silly. Your littles love silly. If you forget the words to a song, it’s okay. You can make up the words. If you fumble while reading, that’s okay too! We aren’t meant to be perfect. And it will show your child that we too make mistakes. Provide yourself some grace, and know that you are doing a great job!
- If your child gets antsy and doesn’t want to finish a book, then put it to the side. You can always finish it later.
- Don’t underestimate the power of crayons and paper. Have your children draw or color a picture, and get them to tell you a story about the picture.
Have questions about Preschool Story Time, or need to learn more about the importance of reading in your child's life? Check out the Hutto Public Library Facebook page, the Preschool Story Time group or visit PBS.org.