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Library storytimes aim to make reading fun

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Learning to read isn't easy, but there are five simple, yet powerful, ways to help children of any age develop the skills they need before entering kindergarten.

In fact, if you have a young child, or are the caregiver of one, chances are you already incorporate them into the time you spend together.

They are reading, writing, talking, singing and playing.

Although inexpensive and easy to do anytime, these five things are early literacy all-stars, paving the way for children to become successful readers in school.

As a child's first teacher, it's important that parents and caregivers understand how easy it is to work these practices into daily activities and they have lots of ways to do so.

A number of library programs planned in the coming months for parents and younger children will help accomplish just that.

During library storytimes, children have so much fun they don't realize they're getting a leg up on learning how to read. Fortunately for parents, each library location has several storytimes scheduled throughout the day, almost every day of the week.

Worthington Park Library, 1389 Worthington Centre Drive, will debut a series when the late summer/fall storytime season starts Aug. 18.

Each Explore More storytime, for 2- to 5-year-olds, starts out as a traditional storytime -- with all the books, songs and rhymes that make the program great fun and a great learning opportunity -- but then it goes a step further, encouraging children to stay at the library and take advantage of the hands-on early literacy, science, art and math activities.

The series will start at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays through Nov. 26. Sessions are also planned on Sept. 9, Oct. 14 and Nov. 11 at 6:30 p.m.

Saturdays at the library will be even more fun for under-fives this fall, thanks to monthly STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Punks early literacy programs. Drop in anytime between 10 a.m. and noon to participate in these themed programs. STEAM Punks: Outer Space is planned on Sept. 20 at Northwest Library, 2280 Hard Road; LEGOs for Little Ones will be held at Worthington Park Library on Oct. 18; and Old Worthington Library, 820 High St., will host Wild Wind on Nov. 8.

For more information about how reading, writing, talking, singing and playing can help your child develop language and other early literacy skills, check out the Kids section of the library's website, worthingtonlibraries.org/kids/earlyliteracy. There you'll also find links to audio recordings of rhymes and video of storytimes, including a new video -- filmed by and featuring Worthington Libraries staff -- about encouraging early literacy skills during a visit to the grocery store.

You can also talk to one of the experts in the children's department of any Worthington Libraries location.

Hillary Kline is communications specialist for Worthington Libraries.

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