Thursday, January 28, 2010

Read to Your Baby

We are excited that our latest program at the Library will focus on our very youngest readers - little kids under 3.

Toddler Storytime will be held on Tuesdays from 10-10:30 am. Group leaders are two young mothers who have little ones themselves and will alternate weeks. The fun sessions will include nursery rhymes, finger plays, songs, and stories just right for infants and toddlers.

Our popular pre-school storytime for 3-5 year olds will still be held on Wednesdays at 10 am.

We have been looking forward to offering a toddler storytime because of the many benefits babies receive from being read to. Even though very young children do not understand everything that is being read to them, the rhythm of the language, the differentiation of sounds, the varied emotions and expressive sounds all lay the groundwork for becoming an enthusiastic reader later on. There are so many basic things learned that we might not even think of: the fact that a book is read from front to back, that pictures should be right side up, that the language of books is different than spoken language, just to name a few. The benefits of reading to babies is well documented. It improves social skills, and builds listening, memory, and vocabulary skills.

But perhaps the most important reason to read aloud is that it makes a connection between the things your baby loves the most - your voice and closeness to you - and books. Every minute spent reading together is a minute not spent passively in front of a television show or dvd. Research has shown that early overexposure to television may delay reading skills and may even be connected to attention deficit disorder later in childhood. Check out Read to Your Baby for more benefits, tips, and resources.

The National Institute for Literacy has a wide assortment of helpful booklets published on early literacy at each age that can be downloaded. They are also available for free at the Library. Stop in and pick some up. Then stay for a visit - we'll be happy to help you Raise a Reader!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Brand New Early Literacy Station Now Available

We are excited about our new Early Literacy Stations (ELS). ELS is a computer workstation loaded with more than 45 educational software titles for kids ages 2 - 10. ELS offers children a safe, standalone computer not connected to the internet that is age appropriate, engaging, and academically relevant for children. We have two stations in the Children's Department of the Armstrong Library, and one each in the Centreville and Woodville libraries. There is an imaginative interface that encourages exploration. The stations have a colorful keyboard, a tiny mouse, and a touch screen to promote easy learning and discovery.  We especially like the keyboard, where consonants are green, vowels are purple, numbers are red, punctuation is yellow, and functions are blue.

Many of the programs contain disguised learning activities that expand the child's experience through games and extension activities.The programs help develop skills in mathematics & problem solving, science & nature, social studies & geography, writing computer skills, reading, word recognition, & phonics, reference, and music & art. Your child will enjoy playing educational games with characters from Sesame Street, Between the Lions, Dora, Millie, Reader Rabbit and many more.

Did we mention that the ELS is fun? Children just love it!

We still have our children's computers that connect to the internet but can only access specific websites, listed on our website.

Bring your child to the Library and use all the resources we have available. This would be a good opportunity to spend quality time reading, selecting books, and playing educational games. Find out what your child is interested in and select books in those areas. We have a large selection of new books in for the children.

You may use our new card catalog and select board books, picture books, beginner readers, fiction or nonfiction books, accelerated readers, biographies and much more. The Children’s Librarian will be happy to assist you with any of your needs. We want to help your child become a reader and a life long library user.