Week 12 Program Review Children's Storytime

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    • #2526
      Sarah Ross
      Participant

      IFN614 Week 12

      REVIEW A PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN

      I went to my local library and sat in on a children’s storytime session (having first checked with the library staff that this would be o.k. as I could not borrow a suitable child).  The storytime is described as being ideal for children aged 2-5 years.  It is held in the children’s section of the library which is quite small and rather crowded even without children in it.  The program runs once a week for half an hour in the morning (with two other storytime sessions under State Library of Queensland’s  First 5 Forever program also provided on other days).

      Image from Brisbane City Council Library website

      The librarian running the session walked in with a trolley/whiteboard already prepared for the session.  The children (mostly) sat on the floor in front of her, some with their parent(s) or caregivers, some confident ones on their own.  I tried to count the number of children and got to about 20 but they kept on moving.  The librarian plunged straight in, reading two books from a series called the Hueys by Oliver Jeffers.  She interacted with the children, pointing things out on the illustrations and asking questions.  The last part of the session was given over to craft and children were given a blank illustration of Rupert (the Huey who knitted a new jumper – I was listening) to colour in or put stickers on.  The session ended with parent(s)/ caregivers and children just wandering off.

      Image from http://www.oliverjeffers.com/picture-books/hueys-the-new-jumper

      I found the experience rather lacklustre compared with the program envisaged in  First 5 Forever .  I am not sure why this one session is not under the First 5 Forever banner and lacked time to test out a First 5 Forever session to see if it was different.  Best practice for early literacy programs focuses not only on the children but also on parent(s) and caregivers.  This is very much a part of the First 5 Forever program which also has a toolkit specifically for parent(s) and caregivers.  Nell Coburn gives ten tips for a successful storytime and of those tips, more than half concentrate on interaction with parent(s) and caregivers.  As Coburn says, “Storytime is not a performance; it’s an interactive experience between you and the people in front of you on any particular day”The people in front of you are not just the children but also the parent(s) and caregivers and this aspect of a storytime program was completely missing from the one session I attended.

      I really got the feeling that it was more of the library “simply providing a frazzled mother a coffee and a much needed break on a Tuesday morning” (except without the coffee) rather than something designed to provide “a universal family literacy program aimed at creating stronger language and literacy environments for …  children before they start kindergarten and school” and that also directly supports the parent(s) and caregivers to be confident because they are the child’s first and most important teacher.

       

      • This topic was modified 4 years, 12 months ago by Sarah Ross.
      • This topic was modified 4 years, 12 months ago by Sarah Ross.
      • This topic was modified 4 years, 12 months ago by Sarah Ross.
      • This topic was modified 4 years, 12 months ago by Sarah Ross.
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    • #2557
      Stacey Larner
      Moderator

      Interesting! It sounds like we might have attended the same library for our story time experiences. You drew some very similar observations to what I did, and I have to say I’d be curious to know if it’s just this particular library that isn’t very “into” the whole story time thing.

      Having run my own impromptu story time at my school last week though I have to say I can understand the temptation to not do songs etc. I HATE singing nursery rhymes ;).

      • #2571
        Sarah Ross
        Participant

        Stacey, it is more than possible that it was the same library and I really was disappointed!  I have decided that whatever I do after finishing this degree it will not involve singing – I might empty the library!

        Thanks for your comments,

        Sarah

    • #2583
      Ruth McConchie
      Participant

      Interesting review Sarah, I must admit I haven’t been to a story-time for a very long time. Did the kids seem to enjoy the program? It seems like a good idea to incorporate  craft into story-time so the younger kids become used to the idea of the library as a makerspace.

      • #2589
        Sarah Ross
        Participant

        Ruth, some of the kids seemed to be really engaged both in storytime and the craft activity but I just did not feel that the adults were!  A bit of a disconnect between what is best practice was what I felt.  It did not engage me as an adult which was disappointing in that while I do not have kids I do have other littlies in the family, I don’t think I would take them to this particular program.

        Thanks for your comment,

        Cheers,

        Sarah

         

         

    • #2626
      Peldon P
      Participant

      Interesting post Sarah although you were not really impressed with the program but that’s so much better than what my son and I attended. Where we went they did not talk to us at all still I loved being in the library, the quiet space with books and stuffs is so appealing to me.

      The part about moms getting coffee break is funny, as much as I love my son sometimes I wish somebody would take him away for a day or something. It can be exhausting with toddlers, I’m glad that libraries are doing that for moms 😉

      • #2639
        Sarah Ross
        Participant

        I think that it could have been more dynamic especially for the older children – more interactive.  Please make time for your coffee!

        Cheers,

        Sarah

    • #2634
      Shannon Franzway
      Participant

      It really does depend on who takes the story time.  I used to take my eldest daughter (when she was about 6 months old) to a particular library where I would meet up with some  friends and their children.  We would always hope for a particular librarian who was a bit of a Mary Poppins type – the children thought she was a bit magical – and she really engaged the whole group, including parents for the full half hour.  When our Mary Poppins librarian wasn’t around, it was no where near as good.  And one day, Mary Poppins told the group she was moving into another role and wouldn’t be taking story time any more.  I stopped going to that library – I wonder how many others did the same?

      • #2640
        Sarah Ross
        Participant

        Shannon, I  think that was what I was hoping for.  I don’t think the librarian was bad, but it just felt uninspired.  I have overheard other sessions and they sounded fun but this wasn’t.

        Cheers

        Sarah

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