Friday, September 28, 2012
By ALISA MANNA
Toddlers joined the Austintown library on Sept. 12 for a morning of books and activities. Children’s Librarian Kathy Orr helped children ages 2 to 3 become successful readers by sharing age-appropriate books, song, rhymes and other activities.
The theme for the program was the color red, so Orr planned for all the activities to involve few words, just colors.
She began by singing the typical opener songs, but then switched other ones that included the color red, like the “Color Day Song,” which was in tune with “Mary Had A Little Lamb.” Orr also had the kids play the activity called “What’s Red?” where she showed the kids pictures of a stop sign, rose and apple before putting on a clown nose.
“The sillier you are, the better,” the librarian said. “Even if something doesn’t work, they love it and giggle.” She also said “What’s Red?” is a great way for kids to hear the sounds and rhymes, even if they don’t realize it.
“It lays the groundwork for literacy when they start school,” she said.
Orr had to skip some of the activities she originally planned to do because of the large number of attendees and the age limit. Instead, she decided to focus more on movement and sound.
‘The basic idea is to do a literacy skill each week, and this one was a lot of rhyming and singing,” she said. “But the key is to keep them active so they’ll do it on their own.”
The librarian read “The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear,” because of the illustrations, few words and the expressions of the mouse.
Orr also read “Red Ball” and “Little Red Bus” because of the colors. She then played the game “Mary Wore Her Red Clothes” for participation and to keep the kids engaged.
The program ended with a red clown craft that the kids decorated with stickers.
Austintown residents Melissa Peters and Heather Alexander both brought their daughters, Riley Peters and Alaina Alexander, to the library program.
“It gives them a chance to get out of the house,” Peters said. “And they love to sing, dance and read.”
Austintown resident Joanne Seman swears by the library programs. She brought one of her granddaughters years ago and said she was reading in preschool. Seman now brings her granddaughter Mia Haggerty, from Boardman, because it’s something they love and can do together.