A GIFT to the community

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Toddler Tales encourages love of reading, library

By Stephen Lega

Typically, Miss Lisa will read two or three stories before leading the toddlers (and the adults who accompany them) in songs and other activities during Toddler Tales at the Marion County Public Library.

Last week's program was anything but typical, however. Toddler Tales was moved to Friday because of weather concerns, and a special visitor, Mrs. Claus, stopped by with gifts for each of the children.

As you might expect, both of last week's stories and crafts had a seasonal tie-in as well.

But that only added to the fun.

Toddlers, accompanied by their parents or grandparents, followed along as Miss Lisa led them in "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Jingle Bells", and they sat with rapt attention as Miss Lisa read "Christmas is Here" and "Maisy Makes Gingerbread".

"Miss Lisa is so good," said Jane May, who was at Toddler Tales with her 3-year-old grandson Caleb May. "She let's em' come up and look at the books."

Miss Lisa is Lisa Wyman, the children's librarian at the Marion County Public Library. She has been in charge of Toddler Tales since she took the position more than a year ago, but the program has been in place for years. The program is aimed at children less than a year old to preschoolers.

Wyman said Toddler Tales regularly takes place at 11 a.m. Wednesdays. The purpose of Toddler Tales is "to let them know the library is a fun place to be and, hopefully, to start a lifelong love of books," she said.

But there are other benefits as well.

Ella Young, who attended last week's program with her granddaughter, India, 20 months, said the program also gives kids an opportunity to socialize with one another.

"It really has helped her [India] to be with other kids," Ella Young said.

Trish Sherrod and her son, Tyler, 16 months, joined in the singing and listened to the stories last week.

Trish Sherrod echoed the sentiments of other parents, offering praise for Miss Lisa and gratitude that her son can spend time with other kids.

And she's just as happy that it's encouraging another interest for Tyler.

"He loves books and he loves story time," Trish Sherrod said. "He's a little young for the crafts, but he loves the books."

Editor's note: For more information about Toddler Tales or the other programs offered at the Marion County Public Library, call (270) 692-4698 or visit the library's website, www.marioncopublic.org.