Today, instead of an advocacy tool box post, I’d like to share with you a letter one of my library’s storytime providers received from a grandmother who regularly brings her granddaughter to storytime. It’s a wonderful reminder that YES our storytimes work and YES the grown-ups are understanding the parent messages we’re sharing – and that our patrons are some of our BEST advocates. If you ever get a letter like this, be sure to share it with your supervisors and other higher-ups! They need to know (if they don’t already) that storytime makes a difference!
What we do makes a difference, friends, and here’s the proof! I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Shared with permission.
(In case the pdf won’t open, here’s the full text:)
I just want to thank you for the wonderful story time sessions you provide on Wednesday mornings for the two to three year olds. It’s not an easy session to plan and/or to implement, but I have to say it is, as far as I’m concerned, a wonderfully valuable time for the children, parents and grandparents who attend. I’ve learned a lot about how young children learn, and I think I’ve finally got the “Hokey Pokey,” “Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” and a few other songs under my belt. I’m a little tired of waking up in the middle of the night with these tunes/ear worms in my head, but [grandchild] and the other kids clearly enjoy them.
[Grandchild] is obviously not the best behaved participant, but that’s some of why I think the program you provide is so valuable. She is an only child and an only grandchild of five grandparents, who make quite a fuss about her. That’s both a plus and a minus, but the pluses of your program include the following benefits for her and the other kids:
- Learning to listen
- Learning to follow directions
- Experiencing the joy of controlled physical movement
- Learning to share
- Learning to interact with peers and adults appropriately
- Learning to behave appropriately/respectfully
- Building pre-reading skills
- Getting a positive introduction to a library
- Having a positive experience with an adult in a teacher role
- Being exposed to stories that aren’t part of the home library
I also appreciate the short parenting lessons you present, so that we adults can better understand how to support the children under our care. When you say that “Research shows” I think you get everyone’s attention. Last week, for instance, you talked about the value of being present with our children when they are playing with apps. Even more to the point, you told us that these children benefit most from spontaneous play. I’m sure I’m not the only grandmother who tells my grandchild’s parents the pithy lessons you impart during these valuable sessions. So when you tell me these things, you should realize that the adults in attendance during one of your lessons might well be sharing the lessons with one or more other adults that are concerned with the development of the children in attendance. Thank you for what you do so well. The proof of the value of these sessions is in the number of children and caregivers who return week after week.