Kutztown Library offers Saturday Story Times, Play & Learn Workshops

Kutztown Community Library is adding a Saturday Story Time starting Sept. 28 and Play and Learn Workshop series on Thursdays in October.

The new story time on Saturday was prompted by request.

“Working parents with young children asked for a story time that would accommodate those who are unable to attend during the week,” said Lisa Nuss, Youth Services Librarian at Kutztown Community Library. “We are hoping that providing this program on a Saturday will allow more families to participate.”

Saturday Story Time will be held the 2nd and 4th Saturdays until Dec. 14 at 10:30 a.m.

“It is important to offer story times to parents because reading to young children is one of the best ways to prepare them for learning and school,” said Nuss. “By attending story time, parents are helping their children learn to socialize with a group of their peers and also helping to develop a love of stories.”

Nuss said story times help to prepare children for developing reading skills by introducing them to new vocabulary and background knowledge. Reading aloud also allows them to become familiar with the reading process and develop a positive attitude toward reading, she said.

“Story time allows the parent and child to spend quality time together listening to stories, singing songs, and participating in activities,” said Nuss. “Hopefully, the parents are then encouraged to share stories at home.”

The October Play and Learn Workshop series invites parents to come and play with their child while getting parenting tips and early childhood information from guest speakers. Each session will end with a short time of stories and songs. Held Thursdays from 10 to 11 a.m.for children ages 0-5 with a parent, grandparent, or caregiver, this workshop will take the place of Thursday Toddler Time for October.

Nuss explained that the Kutztown Community Library is a Family Place Library, and the Play and Learn Workshop is a core component of that designation. To learn more about Family Place Libraries, visit www.familyplacelibraries.org.

The Play and Learn Workshop is a five-week program that involves toddlers and their parents and caregivers; features local professionals who serve as resources for parents; emphasizes the role of parents as the first teachers of their children; and teaches strategies for healthy child development and early literacy, explained Nuss.

“It is designed to allow parents, grandparents, caregivers and their young children (ages 0-5) to play and learn together in a friendly, informal environment,” she said.

“With this program, we hope to provide families in the community a place to gather and meet other families with young children, and an opportunity to get some information on parenting and early childhood development.”

Nuss hopes the parents leave each week with some new information, while children leave “having had a good time, creating positive feelings about the library.”

Planned topics include early childhood education, the importance of play and being active, child development stages, and early literacy. One week of the program will also provide the opportunity for parents to have their child’s vision screened for free by the Lions Club.

Each session will have lots of time for free play and a local professional who will be available as a resource person to speak with families. Each session will end with a short story and song time.