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Moms and Money: Stories in the Park

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 7:19 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - On a sunny Friday, families are laying out their blankets at Doling Park.

“So we had one of our story times at the park today and it’s just a way to get back into story time. This is a beautiful partnership with our local parks,” said Stephanie Smallwood, Youth Services Coordinator for the Springfield Greene County Library District.

As the kids sit and listen to the story, their minds are processing everything they’re seeing and hearing.

“It’s one of the most important things we can do and we don’t just say that because we’re librarians and we think everybody should love books. It’s because of something researchers call Print Motivation. Print Motivitation is an innate interest in desire to read. Whenever we share books with children in positive ways, they’re building this Print Motivitation or love of books,” said Smallwood

It’s not just readying at story time either, there’s singing, dancing and crafting too.

“Children are learning about all the different parts of early literacy, they are learning about the language, social and emotional (development). You see a lot of opportunities for children to very naturally learn to regulate their emotions and their attention at whatever stage they’re at,” said Smallwood.

Seeing the kids and families return to story time again is a welcome sight for the staff.

“It’s been difficult for all our library staff. It’s hard to not be doing this in person programming that we’ve done for many years. But of course, we are focusing on safety,” said Smallwood.

Stories in the Park are being offered Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays at various parks around Springfield. To find specific times and locations click here. Through November, the Springfield Greene County Library District is also offering Story Walks where pages of a children’s book are displayed along a walking path for the families to read page by page.

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