SUMMIT, NJ - The Libraries of Union County Consortium (LUCC) has honored three volunteers from the Summit Free Public Library -- Teresita Usme-Perea, Paola Acosta, and Patricia Fontan -- all of whom were instrumental in the development and launch of the library’s popular 'Spanish Storytime' (Hora del Cuento Español).
The idea to create programming for a Spanish-speaking audience started in the spring of 2014, when a dedicated group of Summit residents came together and proposed a Spanish-language storytime for preschoolers. Begun as an offshoot of the library’s outreach to the Spanish-speaking community, the program has grown over the years, attracting both Spanish-speakers and English-speakers.
In many cases, the children speak English, but their parents or caregivers want them to maintain their Spanish language skills. The program also attracts a number of English-speaking families who want their children to learn Spanish. The volunteers select the books that are read and the songs that will be sung during the hour-long storytime. Puppets, musical instruments, and lots of movement hold the children’s attention, as the storyteller works her magic with the children, engaging them to interact with the music, the puppets, and the stories they hear.
'Spanish Storytime' (Hora del Cuento Español) meets most Thursdays from 10 - 11 a.m. All are welcomed and encouraged to attend.
Beyond the rollout of 'Spanish Storytime', the Library’s volunteers also helped the Library expand their Spanish-language book collection for children when the Junior League of Summit agreed to donate funds specifically for the program. They also briefly expanded the Spanish-language programs to include a Spanish-language book club for older children and families, and they worked with the Youth Services Department staff when the library received a grant from the NJ State Library to offer a Spanish-language STEAM Math & Science Storytime (MASST) series.