Kids excited through ‘Story Time’
Every Wednesday morning at 10 a.m., parents and children gather at the Kelly Park Community Center here for Story Time and crafts organized by a partnership between the Military Child Education Coalition and Army Community Service.
The program is designed to teach the importance of parent involvement in their child’s reading and create a fun community learning environment for children from birth to school age as well as their parents. Story Time does this through integrating songs, interactive stories, parents taking part and a separate craft segment.
Kimberly McHugh, one of the organizers of the program, read to the children Jan. 12. An associate with MCEC, she said the purpose of Story Time is, “to teach and coach parents on early literacy. I think they [the attending children] enjoy it, and they [like] to be interactive with other kids,” she said. “We’re all about children.”
Blythe Hogbboom, coordinator with MCEC, mentioned some of the program’s benefits.
“The benefits include the way these children now conduct themselves,” said Hogbboom. “The way the kids come in and they sit with their moms, and they slide up when we ask them to and use the hand motions to the songs and the finger plays – they learn that by coming every week. We’re showing them how to participate and be interactive with other kids.”
One of the attending parents, Jolene Galaviz, commented on why she deems it a good idea to bring her daughter.
“It’s good for her social behavior,” said Galaviz. “The first time we came she wasn’t very good at sitting and listening. Now, she will sit and follow along [with the story]. She’s made quite a few friends too.”
Rebecca Robledo, also an associate with MCEC, added another advantage of the program. “It’s family time. It’s an extra hour where moms aren’t having to worry about dishes or laundry – they’re just focusing on their children.”
Janine Klien, Army spouse and mother, agrees.
“Definitely for the family time, since staying in the house is not an option for her,” she said, motioning toward her toddler. “There are [also] benefits for me since I get social interaction too.”
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