Storytime, a program held at three EPL branches on a weekly basis, helps introduce the library to children, as well as socializing them and preparing them for preschool.
According to Osolo branch supervisor librarian Donna Mitschelen, the program is presented different at each branch but follows the same idea.
“This program focuses on helping children prepare for kindergarten by providing opportunities to learn and to enhance their pre-reading skills,” she said.
“Early literacy skills are developed through talking, singing, writing, reading and playing; we try to incorporate these skills into our Storytime sessions.”
Tuesday, 10 a.m. at Osolo
Tuesday, 10 a.m., Tuesday Tales (Ages 4-5) at Main
Wednesday, 10 a.m. at Dunlap and Cleveland
Thursday, 10 a.m. at Pierre Moran
Thursday, 10 a.m., Little Explorers (ages 2-3) at Main
Mary Ann Johnson, a retired teacher, has been bringing her granddaughter, Piper, to the Osolo for Tuesday Storytime since September and said it works great for her as a daytime caretaker.
“It’s just important that the kids learn those aspects of the library,” she said. “They do a lot of different things; reading, motor skills and they always do an activity.”
Kay Hanft, also a retired teacher, has brought all of her grandchildren to storytime over the years, six in all.
“Donna does appropriate stories for their age and my grand kids love to do the crafts and of course the snack,” said Hanft with a laugh.
“It’s a good step to bring them here before they go to preschool so they can have the socialization, otherwise they will be behind when they get to preschool.”
The Storytime program is slightly different at the downtown library, with two programs, Little Explorers for 2- and 3-year-olds and Tuesday Tales for 4- to 6-year-olds, according to Allison McLean, head of Young People Services.
McLean said that the reason for the different program for 4- and 5-year-olds is so they can focus on youngsters at the other sessions.
“That allows us to be a little more focused than the 2-5 age range at the other storytimes,” McLean said.