With the summer ending, Potomac Library finishes up their Summer Reading Clubs, and brings in a new harvest of fall programs for children.
Programs focusing primarily on pre-schoolers is a trend becoming increasingly popular with libraries around the area. The Library's focus on the young child is due to recent brain studies and research on "early learning experiences" says Potomac's librarian, Sue Shaw. A few local libraries have created programs for infants.
The Storytime programs range from "Cuddle Ups" a program designed for 1-2 year olds to preschool story time, for 3-5 year olds. Programs are focused on providing an educational experience before kindergarten, and developing a love of reading in young children.
Books are chosen carefully on the basis of kinds of illustrations, appropriate vocabulary, size of print and interest of story to a young reader. The storytimes are divided into groups of non-talking, talking and "pre-emergent" readers.
Normally, siblings cannot attend, but at Family Pre-School Storytime on Saturdays, their attendance is encouraged.
So how do parents feel about the age requirements? Animeh Asrar, a parent of a five-year-old girl said, “I really like it. If it's a specific age, the books are going to be picked for that specific age. It's much better than when they combine ages."
Shaw claims a positive response from the community about the programs. "Last year, we began registration with special age requirements and the parents in the community responded extremely well to that," she said. "One reason we stress age requirements is for the public schools. We are pre-developing children with appropriate programs for that age."
Children seem to enjoy the storytimes as well. Parent Carol McHugh said, "Erin went to the program the end of last year and she enjoyed it. She liked singing songs and hearing the stories. She looked forward to coming to the library after that."
Potomac Library is located at 10101 Glenolden Drive. Parents are encouraged to register as earlier as possible due to the popularity of the classes. Call 301-983-4475 or 301-765-7083 (TTY).