Library to hold reading programs

Published 7:00 am Friday, February 8, 2019

Reading is one of the paramount necessities for a productive life and beginning to develop that skill at the earliest possible age is a major part of a child’s development.

The Pearl River County Library System has begun two new programs designed for children from newborn to first grade.

Led by Children’s Director Megan Miller, the library is now hosting weekly reading events for ages 0-3 years and ages 3-6.

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“Baby and Me with Mrs. Megan” is for the younger age bracket and will be held on Tuesdays from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. in Holland Hall at the Margaret Reed Crosby Memorial Library in Picayune.

“Spring Story Hour with Mrs. Megan” is for children aged 3-6 and will be held Fridays from 10-11 a.m. in the same location.

Library Director Carol Phares said the story hour has been an institution with the local library.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Phares said. “They learn how to sit in a group setting. They socialize and they develop a love for books.”

She said Miller tries to teach the children, who normally have short attention spans, the ability to focus on a subject.

Phares said Miller’s program for the newborns is called a “lap set program.”

“It involves the parent or the caregiver,” Phares explained. “They have the child sit in their lap while Megan does songs and fingerplays – anything to keep the child’s attention – along with the books.”

Fingerplays include short rhyming phrases together with movements of the hands or arms to tell the story

Phares said the children at a young age are developing the fundamental skills that will lead to reading.

“When I started, I was very surprised to learn that the little fingerplays with children are critical to pre-reading,” she said. “It helps with eye/hand coordination which a child needs in order to read.”

Phares said that many times the event becomes “a crawl-for-all,” but added both the parents and children “have a ton of fun in there.”

“Megan has made that program very successful,” she said.

“Reading really needs to begin in the womb,” Phares said. “Even reading a newspaper out loud, the child hears. Our reading cadence is different than our speaking cadence. They hear that and it becomes familiar to them so later on when they learn how to read, they are not having to learn that part of it. It’s amazing the head start it gives to them.”

Information about the programs is available by calling the library at 601-798-5081.