Spring Story Hour has kids jumping into reading
Published 7:00 am Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Every Friday at 10 a.m., Crosby Memorial Library is filled with the voices of young children screaming “Good morning Miss Missy!”
Spring Story Hour is in full swing at Picayune’s public library, inviting children from 3 to 5-years-old to dance, play, sing, read and create crafts with Temecia Ellis, known as Miss Missy, and her high school volunteers.
The free program encourages children to learn how to read and introduces them to the world of knowledge available through books, Ellis said.
“It brings so much joy to the library and to me too, I love it,” she said.
Ellis said she came to the library and joined the program about four years ago, shadowing under the previous children’s librarian, Sylvia Bernard.
When Ellis came to the library she was suffering from “empty nest syndrome,” she said, since her own children had grown up and moved away.
“God just provided this opportunity and I have to tell you I love it,” she said. “It doesn’t matter where I am in public, [the kids] will say ‘Hey Miss Missy!’ and my husband gets a big kick out of it.”
Since the beginning, the program has opened with the same song crafted by Bernard, encouraging the children to say hello to one another and shake hands, Ellis said.
During one Story Hour just before Valentine’s Day, Miss Missy had everyone—even the parents—up off the floor and dancing to the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.
With her regular group of homeschoolers and students from St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School, Ellis read the classic Richard Scarry’s book “Be My Valentine” and another booked called “The Sweetest Valentine” which is about a little teddy bear who made Valentine’s cards for all of his friends at school.
Afterward, excited students told Ellis that they intended to tell their friends and family how much they care for them, just like the teddy bear did in the story.
Equipped with words such as nice, smart, kind and caring, the students were ready to go home and make Valentine’s Day cards of their own.
This Friday, the program will celebrate Flag Day, children will learn about the history of the U.S. flag and why Americans recite the Pledge of Allegiance, Ellis said.
Ellis also puts new children’s books on display during each program, showing parents what is available to check out, she said. If nothing sparks their interest, the library can order any book through the Interlibrary Loan program, Ellis said.
The spring program lasts until March 17, taking a short break before the Summer Reading Program begins.
For more information, call 601-798-5081 or visit the library at 900 Goodyear Boulevard in Picayune.