June in South Florida means a couple of things.
First, it is off-season. This is significant for those who are permanent residents.
Second, it is very warm and humid.
Summer means extra trips to the beach, which is great, but how about a trip to the library once (or more) a week?
Seriously, have you checked out the variety of activities at your local free book-stop? If not, you should.
At the North Palm Beach Library near us, discovering much more than books is a lovely adventure for both adults and children.
Recently, I tagged along with a beautiful mother and her three-year-old daughter. I know them quite well, and I wanted to witness how this particular little one embraced the advertised program, Storytime. It's designed for children up to four years old.
Would our three-year-old embrace the group exprience, or reject it and flee into her mother's arms?
At this juncture, although extremely social, she has no experience in organized play. She is not now, nor has she ever been, enrolled in any school or daycare. So, this was new territory for all.
Also, she is an only child (being raised by a Father who is an only, so don't get me started on THAT topic).
Listen, this is our granddaughter, okay?
As her Gigi (what she calls me), if I can be a part of her life-firsts, I will.
My talented daughter-in-law is always seeking ways to create stimulating outlets for our sweet girl.
Together, we were on a quest.
What would be the result of her first time at the North Palm Beach Library Storytime group read?
Upon entering the downstair room where the event takes place, without hesitation, she joined the other children on the floor. From her spot on a little floor-pad, with rapt attention, she listened to the reader.
Totally focused, in the front-row.
Reading stories is only one part of Storytime. They sang a song, "played" drums and made "music" with some sort of cymbal-like instrument (I'm very technical).
Next up, the kids and adults retreated to tables for crafting. The item was a doo-dad for Dad (you know, Father's Day and all).
When crafting was wrapped-up, it was back on the floor for independent playing. Most of the kids are a bit young to engage in much play together with strangers.
Some did, but it seemed they already had some sort of relationship. Who knows?
Our Storytime student played on after many kids and moms had retreated, but at our urging she helped pick-up the toys and return the filled bins to their storage places.
As we reached the door to exit, a silent young helper stood there with two baskets.
This being our first time, we almost missed this opportunity. Without a word of explanation, our little student was being offered stickers and a small box of raisins, by a big student who needs a bit of coaching in the art of communication (it's hard when you are a teen).
With thanks to the teacher, and the free gifts in hand, it was time to go upstairs to the actual book area.
With excitement, seven new books for the upcoming week were chosen.
Yes, there is a reading program for the kids. The library provides a plastic book bag, as well as a folder and sheet for recording the books read.
For every book read a ticket is given to be dropped into various boxes. The boxes reflect an assortment of Build-a-Bear (they are not bears, at all) animals. At the end of the reading program, winners will be selected. Very nice incentive, but our tiny reader is already a huge lover of books.
Gerry and I decided to make a donation to the library via their Friends of the Library program. So, I dropped a check at the desk, but the person taking it was another quiet one who said, "Thanks."
So, not sure what it means to be a "Friend" but, we did discover they do NOT take volunteers unless you are a teenager getting in some community service hours.
I pressed the person at the desk, because I could not believe they needed zero adult volunteers, even after summer is over.
It was made clear, they don't, so I guess that is a good thing for the library.
This facility has quite a number of interesting programs, so if you wish to learn more, please visit their website.
Overall rating: Success.