Story and baby time popular venues for children

By Merna Emara
Staff Writer

The Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre’s story and baby time continues to be a popular offering, where parents and caregivers spend quality time with their children.

Story time and baby time take place on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

Samantha Manty, children services clerk at the Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre, said this year has been especially interesting and wonderful, because they partnered with Andrea Bell-Perrault from EarlyON Fort Frances.

“We work together to bring the programming each Wednesday. It’s just a fun way to get kids out, starting to get interested in books and different themes,” Manty said. “One of my favourite parts of the week is story time and baby time. It’s just such a joy to bring families together and to do something, especially since it’s been a little trying during these times.”

Story time is geared towards ages two to six with a caregiver, while baby time is open for babies up to 18 months. Story time registration can be done over the phone or online, while baby time registration is done by calling or texting the library.

During story time, stories are read to children. There are also songs, an activity and then a healthy snack for everybody.

Baby time includes bouncing and tickling rhymes, singing songs, and fun little stories, all to make the baby smile.

Manty said it’s great for the babies to see other babies, and a good chance for moms and caregivers to meet and share milestones or hardships.

“Everything shared within that group is kept within that group,” Manty added.

“With restrictions, we’re only having 10 families at a time,” Manty said. “And we are requiring proof of double vaccination for the caregiver. This year we’ve done a lot of fun themes. We’ve done counting and dinosaurs and we’ve done silly stories, and upcoming we have a lot of Christmas. The themes are endless. There’s so much that we can do and so many great stories out there.”

Manty said any type of literacy is great for children. She has been facilitating this program for three years, saying it is a good chance for parents and caregivers to spend time with their child.

“Reading to kids is just wonderful. I always, always tried to get parents, no matter how old [their children] are, to start reading to their children,” Manty added. “I find that sometimes during story times the kids will have the wiggles. None of that matters as long as they’re still being read to and enjoying the story. It’s just a really good time. Normally, I’ll go through the book and interact with it.”

In the new year, the library is going to be launching their 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program.

This program encourages parents to start reading to their children at an early age, with a prize for every 100 books that a child reads.

“We’re encouraging parents to read, it doesn’t have to be books from the library, it can be books at home,” Manty said. “It doesn’t have to be different books every time if you read your child the same book five times, that’s just as valuable. It’s a great, great thing for them.”
Story time will run until Dec. 15, with programs resuming in the new year, and there are still spaces available.