By TIM CLEVELAND
With younger children getting ready to begin going to school in the near future, programs have been started to help them get a head start on their reading skills. On June 5, Poland library hosted a Baby Brilliant event for children ages 2-3.
The Baby Brilliant program is for children ages 6-23 months, 2-3 years-old and 4-5 years-old. During the school year it’s put on once a week, while during the summer it’s done once a month due to the summer reading program.
Each Baby Brilliant event has a different theme. The program on June 5 had a theme of Big Things and Little Things.
“Sometimes we pick a real concrete them such as dogs, sometimes a concept like opposites or big and small. It’s fun,” said Poland library children’s librarian Vikki Peck. “There’s a lot of good books and songs that’s part of it, plus it’s a concept that helps children get ready for school. We just try to make everything fun so they’re enthusiastic about reading and comfortable coming to the library.”
Peck led the children in several songs, such as “Shake my Sillies Out,” “I Had a Little Turtle,” “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” She also read from the books “Tiny Little Fly” and “Animal Opposites.”
Afterwards, the children did a craft in which they pasted together an elephant made of paper and decorated it.
Gretchen Walker said she and her son, Travis, like to come to the library as often as they can.
“We try to come to the library once a week,” she said. “We’ve been coming to the program when we can.”
Peck said learning reading skills as early as possible is key for a young child.
“There are a lot of studies that show that children develop those early reading skills at birth,” she said. “There’s a lot of pre-reading skills that kids need, recognizing print, enjoying books, knowing what books are, the ability to hear rhymes and things. Those are all things that if they haven’t been reading and singing while they’re babies and toddlers that they get to school without those, they’re really behind. They need to have all that wired into their brain before they are ready to learn to read.”
Walker said she believes coming to the library’s programs is helping Travis.
“I think it is,” she said. “It’s helping him enjoy books a little bit more and helps him sit and listen to a story as well.”