Story Time: Library tradition engages readers Published Aug. 3, 2007 By Airman 1st Class Carissa Morgan and Tech. Sgt. Brian Bahret 36th Wing Public Affairs ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam - -- Four-year-old Eli Collins said his favorite book to read at home is "The Best Mouse Cookie" by Laura Numeroff. After attending Story Time, held every Wednesday at Andersen's library, he's learned that the educational opportunities are virtually limitless. According to Emilie Fidler, a library aide for the 36th Services Squadron, Story Time encourages children to read and brings the gift of the English language to children. "We try to get the kids to really connect with the story we read, so we talk about each page in detail," said Mrs. Fidler. "The children are very responsive to this, and I think it must help their reading at home as they learn to really think about what is written and drawn on every page." Lisa Collins, who regularly attends the class with her three children - Zachary, 6, Eli, and Miriam, 2 - said the activity is a great way to get the children engaged in reading. "Story Time helps the kids learn the full story," she said adding that sharing the experience with their peers helps reinforce the education. "They sit with the other kids and together learn that reading is cool," she said. Due to the popularity of the classes, two sessions are held every Wednesday, said Mrs. Fidler. "We have about 30 to 50 children each week, split into two sessions--one at 10:30 a.m. and one at 3 p.m.," she said. "We have a whole slew of regulars, and they really help to make it fun," said Mrs. Fidler. "We do rhymes each week, and many of the children know all the words and actions. It is also great to have the parents who come regularly to help us out when there are many children present - it's a real team affair." For the 4-year-old who enjoys crafts, Story Time is a nice change of pace. "My sister and me like it the most because there's coloring," said Eli who shares the excitement for designing crafts with his 2-year-old sister. "My brother doesn't like coloring, but he likes the stories." The class isn't designed for one specific age group, added Mrs. Fidler. The activities are designed to encourage participation from a variety of ages. "Story Time is a time to read and let their creative juices flow," said Mrs. Fidler. "We try to stick to a different theme each week, so we normally talk about the theme and do some rhymes," she said. "Once the children are settled, we read the first story then do some coloring. Then we go into the next story and end with a craft. We make all kinds of things with children, and I try to introduce new skills in craft making." "I like the coloring and the crafts because we get to sue glue and other stuff," said Eli. He said his favorite craft so far was the cow shaker. After reading the "Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that type" by Doreen Cronin, the children colored a cow and taped it to a toilet paper roll. They added some beans to the roll and sealed both ends to complete the project. Mrs. Collins said that when shaken the cow shaker sounds like someone typing fast. Fidler enjoys story time just as much as the children do. "I spend a lot of time preparing for it, and I am always so happy to see how much the children enjoy it," said Fidler. "I also think it's healthy for a person to spend some time each week thinking like a kid." For those who haven't attended Story Time, don't worry, it'll be around for quite a while, said Fidler. "There has been a story time event at Andersen Library for as long as anyone can remember," she said. "It's been done in many different ways and by a variety of people but the want to introduce children to the love and enjoyment of reading has always been the main goal. Story Time is such an integral part of the library's week, I can never see it going away." For more information about Story Time contact the base library at 366-4291 or 366-4294.