NEWBERRY — Children learned about stone soup, sharing and the importance of reading and learning Wednesday at the Hal Kohn Library, as Newberry County First Steps partnered to celebrate the Week of the Young Child.
Local storyteller Sue Summer shared oral storytelling and had the children doing the motions to stir a pot of rock soup and to chop up ingredients to go inside.
Mayor Foster Senn spoke and signed a proclamation declaring the first week of April the Week of the Young Child in Newberry County.
The Week of the Young Child is an annual celebration founded by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
The First Steps/library program was presented to children from Newberry Child Development Center and from Newberry Academy.
Senn expressed appreciation to the 10 First Steps centers that train around 113 caregivers and directors each year.
“We are proud of you and what you are doing,” Senn said. “And we want to salute our sometimes unsung heroes who are child care workers. They deserve credit for helping (promote early learning opportunities and early literacy opportunities).”
To increase interest in reading and to get to know the children before many of them would become students in his district, NCSD Superintendent Bennie Bennett read The Little Engine that Could to the children and took time to remind them how important reading and learning are to their overall well being.
“This is a tremendous foundation to help (these children) succeed. It makes a huge difference and is why (educators) do what we do,” Bennett said.
He thanked child care providers for believing in the children and donating their time and attention to them.
Providing the host location was one way the local library pursues its mission to be a hub of activity for the community.
Library Director Sam Ziady said Hal Kohn uses its bulk book purchasing power to procure the books First Steps gives out to children periodically.
“The early years are so important to a child’s life, with pre-readers and with readers,” he said. “We are thankful to be doing our part to help promote literacy and learning.”
Children received copies of A Pocket for Corduroy as part of the program.