Beyond the Books — the library’s new leadership program — offers community members a monthly immersive and behind-the-scenes look at the Clearview Library District. Each month we’ll offer a recap of the session. In August, participants explored Children’s programming and Early Literacy at the Clearview Library District.
“Storytime in a library can be magical,” describes Early Literacy Librarian Andrea Cleland. “There is a performance element to reading literature aloud so the children can see books come to life. There is a school setting aspect to storytime where children sit and listen to an adult who is not their caregiver, learning not to interrupt. There is a social aspect to storytime, where kids are introduced to other children their age and learn to interact.”
With songs, dancing, giggles, and reading, programs for Little Ones (ages 0-6), like storytime, may seem all fun and games, but children’s brains are hard at work learning.
Actual reading is only one component of learning how to read. A comprehensive approach to developing early literacy skills involves a focus on writing, talking, singing, playing, and reading.
Our Little Ones programming incorporates all of these items to help develop the important ability to read and write.
“Because small children develop gross motor skills before they can master fine motor skills, we include dancing, balancing, skipping, spinning, and other big body movements into our programs, so little bodies can grow and thrive,” explained Cleland. “When we read and write, our hands and eyes cross the midline of the body, the imaginary line dividing our bodies vertically into left and right, which is why we practice cross-body movements.”
Play is an important component of learning and shouldn’t be underestimated.
“Playing is how kids (and adults!) learn best,” Cleland said. Through play, children practice motor skills, vocabulary sharing, narrative skills (the ability to tell a story), problem solving, and critical thinking skills. Play may seem frivolous, but it is exactly how kids learn real life skills.”
Ultimately, through all of our resources and programs for Little Ones, our goal is to instill a love of reading that will last a lifetime.
“Our main purpose is to foster a love of stories and reading early on in a child's life,” Cleland said.
Early Literacy Resources
In addition to physical resources available at our library for checkout — like, board books, picture books, games, puzzles, and Playaways — we hold weekly and monthly programs that foster early literacy skills:
- Storytime — Ten storytimes each week at our Third Street location or in Severance.
- Storywalk — A story on display at Eastman Park that progresses as you move around the pond’s trail.
- Crafty Tales — A monthly themed storytime that includes a special craft.
- Story Explorers — A quarterly book club with Little Ones where each family receives a free copy of the book.
Visit our calendar for all Little Ones events.