GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - Local resident Crystal Johnson loves to read. And sharing her love of reading to young minds is even better.
Starting Sept. 5, from 10:30-11:45 a.m., Johnson will be offering a weekly story hour at the Grand Canyon Community Library, catering specifically to 2 to 5-year-olds, though younger children are also welcome. Working with themes, Johnson plans to correlate the readings with the seasons, holidays, community/worldly events, and concepts children will be learning in pre-school. First on the list will be, "The Shape of Things" by Dayle Ann Dodds. The book introduces shapes and how they are all around us.
"The simple rhyming and bold illustrations are a great way for children to learn their shapes and relate them to their everyday lives," she said. "The first page of the story goes like this, a square is just a square, until you add a roof, two windows and a door. Then it's much, much more."
After reading aloud to the group, crafts relating to the story will be introduced to engage further comprehension of the book. If Johnson reads a story about owls, for example, participants will make an owl puppet while learning more about them. Also, Johnson plans to send extra activities home for parents to do with their children.
"I think there are so many benefits to volunteering," Johnson said. "I've the opportunity to meet new people, make a difference in someone's life, make a positive impact on my community, and give back a little to the community that gives to me."
Johnson said the lovely thing about story hour is how it brings a diverse range of young readers (learners) together. Reading builds confidence, and it builds one's general knowledge of the world around them, reduces stress, builds vocabulary, and improves reading. She added that another great thing about encouraging literacy is that children learn their interests and things about themselves through reading.
For more information about story hour, contact the library at (928) 638-2718.