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A place to make lasting friendships, have fun and read

By Staff | May 4, 2012

For children ages 3-5, there is no better place to go than for story hour at the Heart of America Library in Rugby at 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. on Wednesdays. Story time is held in the basement of the library every week on Wednesdays from September through April, except for those days when the library is closed.

Kids can spend one hour a week being read to, participating in learning activities, making projects, attending a puppet show, doing fingerplays, playing with balls, coloring and much much more.

For the teacher, Marlyis Ostrem, it is pure joy. She picks books she likes and works a theme around them. Or she plans a theme and then picks a book to go with that theme. Either way it works for the children who attend regularly. The number of children varies each time, but there are usually 15-20 pre-school age children most weeks.

“I think the children make lasting friendships here,” said Mrs. Ostrem. “They have fun and I see them getting excited about getting books to take home.”

The theme on April 25 was something on the order of Sea World. The children were introduced to the animals who live in the sea with a book read by Mrs. Ostrem. Then they went into another room where a blue blanket represented the sea and it was filled with the various animals who live there. The children lined up around the “sea” and each selected an animal. The children chattered about their animals. Then they sat and listened to a recording of some of the sounds of sea animals. Soon they switched to a coloring activity. They colored pictures of sea animals and got to use stickers.

“The children love stickers,” said Mrs. Ostrem.

Even a treat that they were given to eat was in the shapes of sea animals. A birthday boy was recognized and serenaded by little voices with the birthday song. He distributed treat bags for each child to take home.

Throughout the story hour, the children were happy and laughing and enjoying their learning experience. The ones who like to talk were jabbering away, sharing information they had learned. Others were quietly observing and participating. One little one said, “Mrs. Ostrem, I like the clothes you are wearing today.” Mrs. Ostrem smiled and said thank you to the child.

The hour was quickly over. Grandmothers, grandfathers, mothers and fathers and caretakers drifted in near the end of the hour. The children greeted them gleefully and some showed their pictures to their guests. Story Hour was over for that week.

Parents say their kids can sleep late any other morning, but on Wednesdays they are up and eager to go to story hour.

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