Cragin Library starts story time program for infants

By Jason Harris - Staff Writer
Colchester - posted Mon., Oct. 22, 2012
Elaine Alexander reading the book 'Jump' to her class at Cragin Memorial Library. Photos by Jason Harris.
Elaine Alexander reading the book 'Jump' to her class at Cragin Memorial Library. Photos by Jason Harris.

A library may seem like an odd place for a new mother to take her newborn, but turns out the Cragin Memorial Library in Colchester is exactly the right place. The library has a new four-week, 30-minute program, a story time for infants that caters to mothers and their newborns every Thursday at 10 a.m. Next week is the last week of the current program, until next month when a new one starts.

Elaine Alexander, a library circulation clerk and the infants’ program organizer, said this program stands out because there are no other libraries offering a program like it. “I felt it would be appealing to modern moms,” Alexander said about the program. “I’ve taken the usual stories, songs and finger plays and added an educational component.”

She uses sign language, music and group storytelling, where every parent reads a page of the same book. A recent book selection was “In the Tall, Tall Grass,” by Denise Fleming.

“Studies have shown that babies who learn basic signs are much less frustrated during their transition into mastering language, which is a good thing,” Alexander said. She designs the program around each sign, she explained. Last week's sign was the word, “frog,” so she read a book and played a song about frogs. Each time the word “frog” was used, Alexander and the parents would sign it.

Michelle Robinson, of East Haddam, brings her 7-and-a-half-month-old daughter, Andrea, to the program. Saying that she just wanted something for her daughter to do, Robinson added that when she found out about this program, Andrea got “really excited.”

Liz Borah, of Colchester, likes the program and is happy there is one around here, since she went to a similar class at the Warwick Public Library in Warwick, R.I. “It’s great,” Borah said about the Colchester program. “I love it.”

Rylan Crowley, of Marlborough, said the program allows her “to get out of the house,” along with being able to give her daughter, Quinn, something to do.

“I think we are onto something special,” Alexander said about the program.

For more information about the story time for infants program, call the Cragin Memorial Library at 860-537-5752.


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