The joy of reading |

The joy of reading

Hayden library introduces story-hour for babies

Tamera Manzanares

It’s been said that babies’ brains are like sponges, absorbing every new sight and sound that comes their way.

That’s all the more reason to introduce books to infants: They may not understand words, but statistics show that the repetition and rhyme of being read to has a positive effect on babies, including newborns, Hayden Public Library Director Ana Lash said.

Lash attended an early literacy workshop in Grand Junction last year, and it inspired her to try an experimental story program targeting newborns to 2-year-olds. The program will follow the Thursday preschool story-hour starting this week.

Baby story-time will last about 30 minutes and involve music, singing and a lot of lap bouncing, Lash said.

“It will be really short,” she said. “We’re just trying to see how they do.”

Even if there are just one or two babies, the library will continue the program, Lash said.

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Last year, preschool story-hours attracted about nine children ages 4 months to 5 years.

By the time the program finished, the 4-month-old was just starting to walk, said Lash, who wanted to create a program that would more specifically target the senses of very young children.

“As kids get bigger throughout the year, it will be interesting to see how they change,” she said.

This year, the preschool reading program will be geared more toward learning, with stories about numbers and colors. There also will be fingerplays, puppets, singing and possibly crafts, she said.

— To reach Tamera Manzanares, call 871-4204 or e-mail