Storytime is not only a fabulous way to connect the parents and little ones in your community to each other, but it can also be a venue to connect those children and parents to helpers in your community. We’ve just started a series at my library with the local police district, and it’s been very successful! Outreach officers come once a month to read books to the kids (in uniform), give them stickers, and show a side of the police force that isn’t always visible.
I am lucky to work in a library that has a neighborhood feel while still being very close to a metropolitan center. We have been working hard to connect with the other businesses along our business district, and storytime was a natural avenue to continue building those connections. AND, it was easier than I ever expected to put together. If you have community helpers in your neighborhood and you want to connect with them, I highly recommend considering enhancing your storytime programming with their visits.
Since beginning this collaboration, we have begun scheduling therapy dogs, ballerinas, and yoga instructors to enhance the early literacy message for our families. It really does take a village to raise a child, and the more interconnected that “village” is, the better and more thoroughly a child’s growth and development process will be.