This year’s Summer Reading Program theme at Ozark Regional Library in Fredericktown, Annapolis, and Ironton, is “All Together Now: Nurture Your Neighborhood.”
With that topic in mind, the library took story time on a little field trip to visit the residents at Stockhoff Memorial Nursing Home in Fredericktown and the Baptist Home in Ironton.
Youth Librarian Suzette Spitzmiller said, this year’s theme was chosen as a way to focus on improving communities and forging intergenerational ties.
“We are always looking to provide services for all ages, and this program was just a beautiful blend of all of our goals,” Spitzmiller said.
During story time, Shelley Bishop from the Arcadia Valley Theatre Guild read “Stone Soup” by Jon J. Muth.
“If you aren’t familiar with the story, it’s about hungry strangers that wander into a village and are hesitant to provide food,” Spitzmiller said. “By the end of the story, and with the help of a little trickery, the villagers feed the strangers and they all enjoy a wonderful community meal.”
Spitzmiller said “Stone Soup” was the perfect book to illustrate the beauty of community.
After the story, the group was led in a unique version of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” Those in attendance learned the popular tune in sign language.
“This version of the song helped us include residents that were hard of hearing,” Spitzmiller said. “Also, learning a new language and incorporating body movement is great for brain development for both young and old.”
As if all that was not enough, next the group moved on to a craft. Everyone found a table, paint, brushes and a suncatcher and began to paint.
“For our craft, we chose to paint suncatchers,” Spitzmiller said. “Suncatchers are bright and colorful, and they are usually divided in sections like paint-by-numbers, which helps make it less overwhelming for those that are hesitant to create art or have a harder time with fine motor skills.”
Spitzmiller said, the library hopes the children were able to feel connected to our older population and you are never too old to enjoy story time.
The library received many “thank yous” for bringing the program to the residents.
“It was touching to see how a program can make such a big difference in someone’s day,” Spitzmiller said. “We love getting the chance to reach new folks. Also, immersing ourselves in the environment of our patrons helps us better understand their needs and how to better serve them.”
This was the final story time of the summer for Madison County with just one left, Pajama Story Time, in Iron County.
As the community says, “see you later” to story time for the summer it does not mean you can not host your own right at home. The Ozark Regional Library System offers a wide variety of stories ready to be read.
Spitzmiller said, everyone loves stories. She said, stories were the first form of entertainment and history and traditions have been passed down for centuries. It keeps minds active and imaginative, and it connects individuals to those who came before them.
“The Summer Library Program is a whirlwind of activity, and we’re so thankful to all of our partners for giving us the space to speak about the library and reach new folks,” Spitzmiller said. “For this event we partnered with Stockhoff Memorial Nursing Home and Baptist Home. Additionally, we are so thankful to have received $10,000 from IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services) to help provide resources for our summer programming. Without that extra funding, it would have made providing quality programming very challenging.”