Library adding new story time for preschoolers

CHARLES TOWN – We at the Charles Town Library have been busily planning programs for children and adults for late March and the month of April. Mark your calendars and come enjoy.

We know how essential early literacy activities are in getting children excited about books and reading and to encourage the development of pre-reading skills. To that end, we are adding an additional story time at 4 p.m. on Thursday afternoons. Story time will continue on Monday mornings at 10:30 a.m. We hope the additional time and at a later hour will allow more families with young children – infants through 2nd grade – to participate.

About 35 percent of children in the United States enter school without the necessary skills for learning how to read. When children enter kindergarten unprepared to read, these same children are more likely to struggle academically for the rest of their lives.

Mercedes Speight

Mercedes Speight

You can help your young child develop a love of reading and books long before they attend school by attending library story times and by reading daily to your young child. Library story time provides a time and place specially set aside for preparing children to read. It helps children develop an interest in, and enjoyment of, reading.

Vocabulary is built. Children learn the names of things and begin to understand feelings and concepts. Children who are read to, develop excellent communication skills.



Mercedez Speight is making this additional story time possible. A senior at Jefferson High School, she has been volunteering for the past two years for our summer reading program and, on occasion, with our Monday morning story time.

We are very fortunate to have devoted volunteers, like Mercedez, who are committed to the cause of early literacy.

To quote Mercedez: “Childhood literacy is very important to me because if a child is able to read then they already hold the key to success in their lives. I love to see the children smile and take a genuine interest in books. I plan to continue volunteering at the library reading to the children before I leave for college in the fall.”

Mercedez is planning to study broadcast journalism at Marshall University next year. Until then, bring your children to the library on Thursday afternoons at 4 p.m. for a wonderful story or two.


– Marcella Genz writes regularly about offerings at Charles Town Library. Send feedback about this column to her at or call the library at 304-725-2208. The library, at 200 E. Washington St. in Charles Town, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 1 to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.

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