The hidden lessons of story time

Tonya Carter shares Story Time with children from the Northern Neck YMCA


For the children attending the YMCA’s Child Care Preschool program, Wednesday story time means riding “The Big Kid Bus” to Lancaster Community Library.

At the library, the excited children trek into the meeting room anticipating an hour of storytelling and fun. And, although they may not realize it, the off-campus excursion offers them much more.

Mary Posey, the YMCA’s Director of Child Services, says, “Story time activities, whether at the Children’s Development Center or at the library, helps increase the children’s attention span, reinforces their word and sound recognition, and most importantly, instills in them a love for books and reading.”

The trips, according to Posey, also help the children navigate social situations. This type of activity promotes positive behavior in and out of child’s customary school environment. It teaches the importance of listening to adults and following social and behavioral norms in any setting.

Tonya Carter, the library’s Youth Services Director, leads the Story Time hour. Each tale begins with Carter highlighting the hour’s theme and a lesson in the ABCs, phonics, and sign language. After the story, the children take part in a hands-on creative activity, and receive a snack.

Carter believes the Story Time program encourages preschoolers to grow into lifelong readers. She hopes the children will, “Consider books and reading as much fun as the toys they play with.”

Posey said, “She is grateful for the library and all that it does for the community’s children.” She also praises the library for sending out a staff member to read stories to the preschool program’s toddlers, aged 15 months to 2 years old, once a week.

The Lancaster Community Library story time program for preschoolers takes place three Wednesdays each month in the Library Meeting Room. The YMCA Children’s Preschool program serves children 16 months to 5 years old.

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