Every Friday just before 10:30 Wendy Gould, one of our Home Child Care Visitors, makes her way to the kids department at Indigo Books on Stone Church Rd. in Stoney Creek. The staff know her well, and they greet her with smiles and waves. She brings a chair that she borrows from between the bookshelves and places it amongst the tables of books and shelves of toys. Then, she sets to work.
She meanders through the department, drawing on her background as a mother, grandmother and an Early Childhood Educator to guide her in the selection of a few book to read aloud to the children who will soon gather around the large, colourful tea cup that serves as a bench of sorts . She collects a few titles; some funny, some cute, some that encourage kids to get up and dance. She makes sure that each title is engaging, entertaining and educational.
Then, she begins approaching kids and parents as they wander the department. “Hi! I’m Wendy!” She says with a smile, acknowledging the parents and speaking directly to the children, “Would you like to join me for Story Time?” Faces immediately light up. “Can I Mom?” they say.
The children trickle into the centre of the department and find a seat. The kids range in age, so it’s a good thing Wendy knows how to find books that will appeal to everyone. She greets them with a smile and asks them how they are, what they’ve done with their summer, what grade they’re going into in September – they offer excited replies to her.
Once the children have settled into their chosen spots, Wendy begins to lead them in singing a song – something to make everyone feel welcomed, warm, and comfortable. The kids sing along as best they can, even if they don’t know the words.
She then approaches the youngest little girl – likely aged 2 – and asks her to choose which book she wants to be read first. “This one!” She exclaims. It’s The Itsy Bitsy Spider. Wendy sings the tune as she turns the pages, and encourages the kids to play along with the timeless hand gestures. However, the book only covers the first verse of the song. “Do you guys know the second verse – the one about Big Fat Charlie?” She puts the book down and finishes the song.
The second book Wendy reads is Tom’s Tweet – a story about a baby bird and a cat. She reads with animated facial expressions and frequently asks the kids questions to help with their comprehension. The baby bird had lost its mother, and instead of eating the poor orphan, Tom the cat decides to care for the bird. Having seen mother birds chew up food to give to their babies, puree style, the cat does the same with an earth worm. At this point in the story, Wendy purses her lip and offers the children a funny, grimacing, “Yuck!” face. The children laugh. It’s clear that she’s a very skilled teacher and that she thoroughly enjoys what she does.
When the stories have finished and the parents have finished their shopping, everyone slowly trickles out of the department. Wendy sighs and smiles in a satisfied way. She loves doing story time. Seeing the children every Friday is a perfect way to end her week, she says. The children and their parents feel the same way.
Did you know that Today’s Family offers Story Time at Indigo Stoney Creek every Friday at 10:30am? Why not join us this week for more stories and more fun!
Until next time,