As published in the Sedona Red Rock News
This week’s column is another in the Library’s series introducing you to members of our staff. Marcia Hansen (Miss Marcia) has been teaching and entertaining children at Sedona Public Library for more than five years. We’re happy to have you learn more about this literacy expert and star librarian who shines as a member of our team.
Everyone loves Miss Marcia and her story time programs on Wednesdays at 9 a.m. Ever since last May, we’ve held “Story Time in the Park” at Sedona’s Sunset Park. Parents, "grandies", caregivers, and children have all joined Miss Marcia on numerous adventures. They have gone to the moon, climbed aboard a pirate ship, been swallowed by a slippery fish, made rainbows, and jumped in puddles. They also met dragons and dinosaurs, had a Teddy Bear Picnic, and they loved a trip to the beach.
One mom expressed her gratitude for Miss Marcia and the Library. "This has been a wonderful program for me and my son this summer. The library is the center of the community, and Story Time in the Park brought new friends to us both. We’ve had many 'in-house' opportunities such as the puzzles, music, DVD’s, interactive activities, and STEAM programs.”
Story Time in the Park was so popular over the summer that adults and children alike requested that we continue it for the rest of the year. So, put on warm clothes, bring your own blanket, and join Miss Marcia for her next adventure or song.
Miss Marcia can sing a song about almost anything! She has a song about birds. “Way up in the sky, the little birds fly, and down in their nest, the little birds rest.” She has a song for putting on your boots: “I got my rain boots. B-O-O-T-S. I got my rain boots. B-O-O-T-S.” She even as a song about socks! “I got a staple in my sock, what a rock. I got a staple in my sock, what a rock!”
As all our staff has done, Marcia answered our five questions, and her responses will help you get to know more about her.
Where were you born? “I was born in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma in the midst of WWII, and my dad was in the Army.”
What was your first job? “My first job was babysitting when I was 12 years old, and this began my affinity for young children.” Marcia received her BS in Health, Phys Ed and Recreation at the University of New Mexico and her AS in Early Childhood Education from UCLA. From there, the career that led her to Sedona Public Library was, as you can imagine, centered around children. She taught Physical Education in the suburbs of both Maryland and Chicago; she owned her own preschool, Small Wonders, for six years; and she worked and volunteered for both the Flagstaff Public Library and the Cottonwood Library before she joined us at Sedona Public Library.
What book most influenced you? A Child’s Garden of Verses written by Robert Louis Stevenson and When We Were Very Young (a Winnie the Pooh book) written by A.A. Milne. “Both books are family favorites. Books were a big part of my life. We lived close to a library, close enough to walk, and I remember going all the time since I was six years old.” She remembers the story time program on Saturday mornings with Mrs. Markey. She won the summer reading program prize when she was in 6th grade, and she volunteered at the library when she was in high school.
Are You on Team Dog or Team Cat? “I like dogs better, but I have owned more cats. This is a hard one to choose, but I really don’t like how cats climb all over everything.”
Have you ever seen a ghost or a UFO? “No, I don’t believe in ghosts, and I have never looked for UFOs.”
Sedona Public Library is so lucky to have Marcia! Not only does she entertain and teach the preschoolers, but she reminds parents and caregivers to foster early literacy skills. One of her favorite lessons is “retelling,” which she emphasizes will improve a child’s comprehension, vocabulary, and oral language skills.
After a Story Time in the Park with Miss Marcia, a parent shared that her daughter went home and retold the entire story from that day to her dad. She recited The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything almost word for word, including sound effects (which Marcia is so good at!). This little girl is definitely practicing her early literacy skills.
Another favorite reminder for parents is a simple one: “Talk to your kids.” Miss Marcia explains how the grocery store is a great place to practice. “It is so alive, and there is so much to do and see.” She finds it disappointing to see children who always have a device in their hands when “the grocery store is a place for conversation. You can talk about what you’re going to make for dinner, what you’re buying, and what clerks do.”
Miss Marcia is a true joy to watch and hear, so please come to Sunset Park Wednesday mornings at 9 a.m. for an hour of stories, music, sign language, flannel board songs and stories, and interactive play. The program is geared to preschool-aged children, but all are welcome.
And an extra big shout out to the City of Sedona. Our partnership with them allows us to use Sunset Park regularly for our programs. It is also where you can visit the Library’s seasonal StoryWalk. Watch for Señorita Mariposa, a bilingual book by Ben Gundersheimer and illustrated by Marcos Almada Rivero, coming this month!
Sedona Public Library is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Your generous donations are always appreciated. Sedonalibrary.org/donate.
Sedona Public Library
Column for November 19, 2021
Written by Viviane Kraus, Youth Services Manager
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News.