Library offers virtual story time for kids to keep up with pre-kindergarten skills

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MERRILL, Wis. (WSAW) -- While routines are interrupted, it's important for young children to keep reading and learning. That's why T.B. Scott Free Library in Merrill is offering virtual story time.

Carolyn Forde conducts virtual story time at T.B. Scott Library (WSAW Photo).

Library staff says these story times are critical to children’s' development, and with so much going on right now, it's vital they keep learning skills like rhythm and rhyme.

Story time at the T.B. Scott Library looks a little different Tuesday.

"We want to make sure that while the library doors are closed, we are still inviting families into the library, and this is one way for us to do that. We’re really fortunate to be a benevolent adult in the lives of many children in the Merrill area," said Carolyn Forde, youth services librarian.

It's virtual, streamed on Facebook live for families to watch at home.

"We want to provide children with all of the helps and supports they need during these days," she said.

While seeing a book virtually is different for kids than reading and touching the book in person, it's keeping them part of a routine that's going to make them ready for kindergarten.

"The things I'm doing help to develop pre-literacy skills, so there are things kids need to know before they can even begin to read or write. It’s a privilege and a responsibility that I take very seriously," she said.

"We know how important these story times are to these children. They have the opportunity to watch it when we’re taping it live, or they can look at it later," Laurie Ollhoff, assistant director of the library.

Each aspect of story time touches upon a different skill.

"They are singing, and when we sing to children, we're helping them listen to the rhythm and rhyme in language," Forde said.

It’s especially important during this time of uncertainty.

"We want to bring some of that normalcy to their lives right now, things have kind of been turned upside down for them," Ollhoff said.

After Tuesday, they’ll be moving the operation home, but you still find more story times on their Facebook page .