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Braselton library invites the littlest tots to gather for stories, games

POSTED: January 8, 2009 12:25 a.m.

Fun at the Braselton library

Watch April Johnson interact with a group of infants and toddlers during Inchworm Story Time at the Braselton library.

BRANDEE THOMAS/The Times

April Johnson, right, interacts with a group of infants and toddlers during Inchworm Story Time at the Braselton library.

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BRASELTON — The Braselton Library has more than just books and videos for the public to peruse, it also has a jumping social scene for the smallest Jackson County residents.

Every Wednesday at 10 a.m., a group of 20 to 30 infants and toddlers gather at the library for Inchworm Story Time.

"We’ve been having Inchworm Story Time for the past three-and-a-half years," said April Johnson, one of the children’s librarians.

Inchworm Story Time is for infants to 3-year-olds.

"We don’t expect the children to sit still the whole time," Johnson said. "The purpose of the story time is to allow the children to interact socially and to also learn how to sit and listen in a group setting. Our main goal is to help the children develop a love for the library and reading."

According to the U.S. Department of Education, reading to children from birth helps expose them to language that they may not hear every day, which can later help them learn to read and comprehend written language.

In addition to the Wednesday session, the library also offers Bookworm’s Story Time on Fridays, which is geared toward children ages 4 years and older.

The story time at the Braselton Library is more than just about sharing a good book. During the session, children also get to sing songs, play games and complete a craft project.

"I usually go by monthly themes. For instance, this month the theme is winter, so I build the story times around that theme," she said. "And I try to stick to a routine. The kids are very routine oriented, and they know if you skip anything."

During this week’s session, children listened to Johnson read "Shoveling Snow," played a rousing game of Ring Around the Rosie and created snowflake bookmarks.

The effort and enthusiasm that Johnson puts into each session hasn’t gone unnoticed.

"She really does a great job. I’ve been to other (story times), but I like this one the best," said Christie Bennett, who drives from Dacula each Wednesday to bring her 2-year-old daughter, Valerie, to the sessions. "I like it because Valerie gets to interact with the other kids."

Since the target audience for the Inchworm Story Time can’t very well drive themselves to the library, regular visitors also include moms or other guardians.

"We’ve been coming for a year and a half," said Erin Bryant of Braselton, who brought her two daughters, 2-year-old Emma and 7-month-old Georgia.

"They really enjoy it and it’s a great way for the adults to interact also. I would absolutely encourage other parents to bring their children."

Bryant says coming to the library has helped Emma break out of her shell.

"At first she was scared and wanted to sit in my lap the whole time. She didn’t even want to hold anyone’s hand during the games," she said. "But now she loves it and gets so excited. It’s really just a great experience."

The Hall County Library System also offers story times for many ages at most of its branch locations.



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