Library’s story time encourages reading early on

Published 9:48 pm Friday, August 26, 2016

Reading is an essential life skill; studies prove that the earlier a child has someone reading to them, the better they will perform and behave later in life. The Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library has been an advocate for early childhood reading for years by offering a story time for preschoolers.

Currently, the program is offered at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for children in daycare centers, and on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. to the public.

“This is a wonderful program, and I am glad we can offer it to the community and daycare centers. Sometimes this is the only time kids may ever step foot in the library,” Marie Cunningham said.

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Cunningham, who is the children’s librarian at the Veto Street facility, said during the 30-minute segment children will listen to stories, sing and make a craft project.

“The children come in, and we sing for a few minutes and then we read a story, sing again, read another story and then we will make a craft,” she said.

On Wednesday, Cunningham read two books about rabbits. For visuals, she brought in some stuffed bunnies and carrots. She even offered the children miniature carrots to eat, though there were not many takers.

Cunningham said she sometimes chooses stories that relate to the seasons of the year and then there are times she will read favorites like the stories of Biscuit, the little yellow dog.

Lena Erekson, who is the mother of eight children who range from age 1 to age 15, said all of her children have participated in the Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library story time.

“I have brought my children to story time off and on for years. They enjoy coming and hearing a story and making a craft,” Erekson said.

On the Early Moments book club for children’s website, reasons given as to why reading is important for children include not only academic excellence, but also better communication and speech skills and logical thinking skills.

And if those were not enough positives to encourage reading to children, researches have discovered from a study done on children ages 3 to 5, while undergoing an MRI, a number of regions in the left part of the brain became active when being read a story.

“These are the areas involved in understanding the meaning of words and concepts and also in memory,” according to a story on CNN’s website.

In addition to story time offering educational skills to children, it has also served as an outreach to newcomers and a bonding time with parents.

Hannah Christensen, who moved to Vicksburg from Utah, said she has been bringing her daughter, Vienna, weekly.

“We just moved here at the end of April, and we have been coming since then,” Christensen said.

And for first-timers Byron Sherwin and his 2-year-old son, Jarek, story time served as a perfect setting for the pair.

“My wife had been telling me about story time, so I thought we would come do something together,” he said.



































About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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