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Collierville parents sing praises of library’s story time program

Collierville residents might have trouble finding a place to park at the Burch Library most weekday mornings.
Young babies and toddlers of all sizes, accompanied by their parents, grandparents and caregivers, are making their way to the library for story time.
First-time mom Markie Del Real was searching for something that she and her nearly 5-month-old daughter, Remi, could do together when she came upon Tiny Tots on the library’s website.
“It was love at first sight for her,” said Del Real. “She instantly clicked with Ms. Cyndee and was entranced by the music and dancing.”
Del Real attributes much of her daughter’s development to story time with Cyndee Ross.
“I feel that Remi has grown up through story time and has hit so many developmental milestones because of the level of education and importance Ms. Cyndee puts into her 30-minute presentation,” she said. “Physically, Remi can clap, stomp, jump, and so much more due to story time.”
Cyndee Ross has been teaching Tiny Tots since she started working at the library in 2014.
From her preschool teaching experience, Ross learned what works to help babies grow in their pre-reading development. Singing develops phonological awareness as words are broken up into smaller sounds and syllables.
Story time at the library may also be the first opportunity for a child to learn social skills.
Through observing the behaviors of other children and adults they will have a steppingstone to school readiness. Del Real is impressed with how many of those readiness skills are taught in Tiny Tots.
“Even more impressive is that she’s also learning sign language, how to listen to stories, and (she) can engage with other babies around her. Story time uses props such as bells, scarves, and instruments to help hand coordination as well as incorporates fun music with special dances to spark their development.”
There are so many benefits to bringing your child to story time. Exposure to thoughtfully chosen children’s literature and new vocabulary is one of them.
Ross looks for books with big pictures and few words.
“The human brain grows by use, and there is an exciting and enormous amount of mental growth that is possible in these first years if babies are given learning opportunities to use their brains,” she said. “Their attention span is short. To help nurture this I need books that allow me to use different facial expressions, voices, and sounds.”
An unexpected benefit of story time is the connections that moms make with each other.
“Story time has not only helped my child immensely but me as well. I have been able to make great mom friends from story time which has allowed Remi and me to be more involved with activities in the community,” said Del Real.
Ms. Cyndee feels good about providing a place for babies to “flourish and develop their natural abilities.”
Del Real said she believes that, “story time has been one of the most influential and wonderful experiences for Remi and me.”
“We have cherished every story, dance, song, and moment,” she added. “I am thankful that the Collierville Library has such a great program for all ages, and I am even more thankful for Ms. Cyndee’s love and dedication to every child and story time lesson.”
Tiny Tots meets Mondays and Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. from August through May.

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