Library teaches children the fun of reading
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Many people imagine libraries as quiet places where parents struggle to keep rambunctious children mindfully enveloped in a book, but walking through the children's section of the library on Andersen Air Force Base during story time, one will see just the opposite.
After a push from the Public Library Association, libraries everywhere are teaching children to associate literacy with fun, and the results are noted.
"At such a young age, children shouldn't have to subconsciously associate reading with silence," said Melissa Taitano, 36th Force Support Squadron library director. "Instead, we are teaching them to correlate the books we read them with the activities we provide for them."
According to the Public Library Association, six skills are actively taught to help children become better readers. They are print motivation, phonological awareness, vocabulary, narrative skills, print awareness, and letter knowledge.
"Print motivation means children who enjoy books will want to learn to read," Taitano said. "Phonological awareness means that a child has the knowledge to sound out written words, in turn extending their vocabulary and improving their narrative skills. All these skills go hand in hand and are taught by our library aide during story time."
The colorful children's section of the library is filled with child-sized play equipment, and a dedicated library aide who reads the week's story and then oversees the activities that follow.
"Each week I select a story and plan a craft activity that relates to the story," said Jae Quichochl, 36th FSS library aide. "The activity improves coordination and motor skills, teaching the child to make a connection between written word and action."
Every story time begins with singing a song, followed by the story, finishing with the related activity.
"I find that the singing helps the children come together and relax," Quichochl said. "Once they have relaxed, and the story is over, they work together on their crafts and I find this helps to build their social skills not only with each other, but myself as well.
"This is beneficial for them because then they aren't afraid to ask me questions, and that's how they learn. Their curiosity is sparked, and that's really what learning is, finding answers to what sparks your curiosity."
Story time is held every Wednesday from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Andersen Library. For more information, call 366-4291.