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Toddler Time big hit with area children

PROCTORVILLE — It was a chance to do the Hokey Pokey with Elmo, hear about a courageous kangaroo and make a mobile with pigs, sheep and cows dancing around.

That’s what the youngsters who went to Thursday’s special day for them at the Eastern Branch of the Briggs Lawrence Library got to do.

Each Thursday at Proctorville, there’s Toddler Time for 2 and 3 year olds and Pre-school Story and Craft Time for 3-5 year olds.

“I think it is great socialization, awesome socialization,” Jessica Brown of Proctorville, said. She brings her son, Luke, 2 1/2, to the library weekly.

“This is great to do. They learn about books, do crafts,” Brown said. “It’s a great way to introduce kids to reading.”

And that’s really the whole purpose of these two events — instilling a lifelong love of reading early in children.

Each session starts with songs, then the library assistants do story time where they read to the children a book appropriate to each age group.

This past Thursday morning Brenda Heffner read about a Kangaroo named McGillycudy who proved the gifts that made him unique could help another. Then her partner Susan Spears reached into her satchel and read her offering.

“We’ve been doing this for several years. It’s something the library was doing to get children in here early,” Spears said.

After the storybooks were put away, the children ran to the craft tables to glue and color spinning mobiles with a farm motif and make kangaroo masks out of brown paper bags complete with library card pockets for the baby roo.

The crafts are chosen with specific goals in mind. For the toddlers, it’s to continue their development of fine motor skills. With the older children, the projects focus on the skills that are part of Governor Ted Strickland’s program, “Every Child Ready to Read.”

“It’s letter knowledge, print awareness, more awareness of how to read a book, and how to hold a book,” Heffner said. “They have to know these things before they start kindergarten.”

Toddler Time and Pre-School Story Time are every Thursday at 11 a.m. at the Proctorville Branch. Toddler Time is also every Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Ironton branch. Pre-School event is also every Monday at 11 a.m. at the Ironton branch; Tuesdays at 11 a.m. at Chesapeake and 11 a.m. Wednesdays at South Point.