Thursday, September 29, 2011

Story Hour At The Library

Hello dear friends!

I have been MIA for quite awhile now, due to trips to MI to see the grandkids and lots of time spent crocheting. But I forced myself to sit down today and write this post, as I really wanted to share this experience with you!

Although I do crochet extensively for charity, I have wanted to find something more hands on that I could do, within my physical limitations.   Impact 52 founder’s, Aaron and Erica Brown and daughters, have really inspired me to make this happen.  As often happens when we start to really focus on something we want to accomplish, the perfect scenario presents itself.   My local library hosts a great program for pre-school children, as well as after school crafting classes for the older children.   In the process of donating a slew of craft items I didn’t need (or have room for!) I was invited to participate in the morning “story hour”.   Don’t let the name fool you though; I was astonished to discover that there is much more to story hour then the name suggests!

Dana, the young lady in charge of the children’s program, is a bundle of energy and passion for the kids!   Each story hour has a theme and prior to the children arriving, Dana decorated and set up tables with crafts for the children to make after the story.  Upon arrival of the kids, Dana began the hour by playing music and leading a great little exercise routine.    This was a great tool for capturing their attention and pulling their focus toward Dana.   Once they stretched and bounced around a bit, they all sat down on the floor while Dana introduced the day's theme.   Our theme on this particular day was the circus, Elephants and the letter “E”. Dana started by helping the kids think of words that start with the letter “E“.   She then transitioned into her first book.   At this point, the kids were completely focused on Dana and her story.   There were about 18 to 20 pre-school children sitting quietely and I thought that was pretty amazing!   After reading a couple stories, Dana told the kids that they were going to have a circus parade and she invited them to pick out a silly hat to wear, from a huge basket of clown hats, cowboy hats, crazy hair and tiaras.  What fun to see them all dressed up in their silly hats!   Then they proceeded to march around the room and return back to the reading area, where they were ready to hear the last story Dana had chosen for them.

Once she finished the remaining book, Dana then walked the children and parents over to tables set up with crafts that were ready for completion.   The kids colored a cute paper elephant, which was then completed with a little folding and some pipe cleaner finesse!  I was incredibly impressed by the organization and thought that went into this story hour.   I can honestly say that I enjoyed it every bit as much (or more) then the kids!  It didn’t seem like I had done much, other then to help with a few of the crafts and keep a running tally of the children, but more then one person went out of their way to tell me that my time was appreciated.   What a great feeling that was and I hope to be doing more with the library soon.

Unfortunately today I am challenged with some pretty severe pain. I am hoping it is related to the cold front coming in and not the time spent with the kids yesterday. I really want to continue volunteering in this capacity and have also been invited to help with a crochet class coming up for the older kids. I very much want to be able to do this!! I’m frustrated by my pain and ask that you please keep me in your thoughts and prayers.  Also, if you would like to read about some really great outreach being done, please check out Impact 52, and see what these awesome people have been up to!

Blessings all!
Mary Anne

Cool hats!

Yes, that's me above helping the little guy with his project.

Enjoying the parade!

Miss Dana sharing a story!

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