Sedona Public Library’s annual summer reading program started just over a week ago. It runs through the end of July, so there is still plenty of time to join in! Over 150 children have already signed up, and most are reading their way to a 1,000-minute goal before heading back to school in August. And our youngest community members are active participants as well!
Babies and toddlers are a unique and important group served by the youth department of Sedona Public Library. Research shows that a 3-year-old toddler’s brain is twice as active as an adult’s brain and that early experiences and relationships play a critical role in brain development and a child’s readiness to read.
Every Thursday morning at 10:30 a.m., library staff present a story time for infants and toddlers. During story time, the presenter will often embed bite-sized bits of research into the programs and model various early literacy–building activities, such as:
· Talking: Talking with children helps them learn oral language, one of the most critical early-literacy skills.
· Singing: Singing develops language skills. It slows down language so children can hear the different sounds in new words.
· Reading: Reading together develops vocabulary and comprehension, nurtures a love for reading, and motivates children to want to learn to read.
· Playing: Kids learn about language through playing, as the activities help them put thoughts into words and talk about what they are doing.
We realize that most parents or caregivers who attend with their child are not looking for a lecture on brain development or child rearing. Often they need a break and a change of scene or crave an opportunity to socialize with other adults who have young children. That’s why we include not only the serious stuff in our story time programs but also a lot of family fun.
Parents with babies and toddlers are also invited to register their child to receive a free age-appropriate book in the mail every month until the child turns five, thanks to the Rotary Club of Sedona and Imagination Library!
As informal educators, library staff will always support the important role that parents and caregivers play in a child’s development and are happy to explain the value of the various learning activities that are at hand in the Library. We strive to provide a comfortable and engaging learning environment for community members of all ages, and the children’s room was recently redesigned with that in mind.
As you can see, there are so many reasons to bring your baby or toddler to the kids’ room this summer—see you soon at the Library!
Sedona Public Library is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, partially supported by the City of Sedona and Yavapai and Coconino Counties. We also require donations and grants to fund our operations. Your tax-deductible donation may be sent to: Sedona Public Library, 3250 White Bear Road, Sedona, AZ 86336.
Sedona Public Library
Column for June 10, 2016
Written by Karen Mack, Youth Services Librarian
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