Reading promoted at event
Published 7:00 am Thursday, June 26, 2014
Imaginations were stirred by more than books Tuesday afternoon at the Margaret Reed Crosby Memorial Library.
While stories were told, Philip Melancon of New Orleans put his own twist on them. To engage the children he modernized Little Red Riding Hood, oftentimes changing up certain plot points to engage the children to participate as he told a story they knew so well.
The moment he would replace a plot point in the story, such as using Goodyear Boulevard instead of the woods, the children would speak up and correct him.
Afterwards, he used various instruments to sing songs about food or other topics.
Library Director Carol Phares said Tuesday’s event was the fourth in a series of six. One of the things Melancon asked for in order to put on the show for the children was a jar of Mickle’s Pickles.
“He laughed when we gave it to him,” Phares said.
There are two more weeks left in the series; guest speakers for the next two Tuesday events will be Mississippi State University Extension Service County Coordinator for Pearl River County Eddie Smith, who will speak to the children about how they can get into gardening, and after that Pat Jones with the Extension Service will teach the children about healthy cooking.
Previous guest speakers included a storyteller and members of the local high school robotics team.
The aim of the program is for children to develop an interest in reading, especially during the summer months when a lack of schoolwork lends to a lack of reading. She said the storyteller told fantasy stories to get children interested in fairy tales, while the members of Team CHAOS piqued their interest in science and technology.
By prompting children to read during the summer months they not only retain their current ability to read, but can enter the next school year with increased reading skills.
Phares said in contrast, when children don’t read during the summer they lose some of the skill they built up over the past school year.
The events on Tuesday’s are geared towards older children who are in the first through sixth grades.
On Friday’s, children aged three to six-years-old can go to the library starting at 10 a.m. to hear stories, songs and create crafts, Phares said.
There are also ways parents can help their young children learn to read at home by having them sit in their lap as they read aloud.
While the parent reads they will typically use their finger to follow the letters from left to right and from top to bottom. Phares said this exercise helps them learn the methods behind reading.
The program is free to all children through a grant from Friends of the Library.