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Libraries launch virtual story time live broadcasts

Posted On: March 25, 2020

It was Tuesday morning, and nearly 700 people were eagerly awaiting the start of the Volusia County Library Services’ popular children’s story time.

Despite the large gathering, there were no issues with crowd size or social distancing. That’s because this was virtual story time, beamed into homes through a Facebook live event. It was the library’s first live broadcast of children’s programming since Volusia County’s branch libraries closed to the public to help protect patrons and employees from the coronavirus outbreak. At a time when the health crisis has schools shut down and families sheltered at home, the county is providing a growing amount of virtual programs to help keep young minds active and engaged.

On Monday, the Marine Science Center kicked off a daily live stream on Facebook of educational programs about local wildlife. And on Tuesday, Library Services launched its first in a series of virtual children’s programming. Called Volusia Reads Stories, the program will be broadcast live on Library Services’ Facebook page at 10:30 a.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Originating from the Deltona Regional Library, Tuesday’s inaugural program was filled with loads of fun and educational books, rhymes and counting songs. After greeting viewers with a hello song, Take Our Hands, the hosts – Miss Mary and Miss Karyn – launched into story time.

“Hattie was a big, black hen,” said Miss Mary as she read aloud the opening line of the children’s classic, Hattie and the Fox. What followed was a charming, 20-minute program that included readings of two additional children’s books, Watch Me Throw the Ball and I Broke My Trunk, rhyming sing-alongs, finger play songs, a poem about five dirty pigs, an elephant counting song, several scarf songs and a demonstration about the proper way to wash hands and arms. Children were encouraged to grab a towel, handkerchief or tissue and participate in the simulated hand and arm washing. And just like it began, the program came to a close with a song. But the children’s favorite, If You’re Happy and You Know It, ended with an alternative verse:

The story time is over wave goodbye

The story time is over wave goodbye

The story time is done, and we’ve had a lot of fun

The story time is over, wave goodbye

Tuesday’s program was met with positive reviews from the social media audience. “Wonderful! Thank you for doing this!!!” read one post. Added another: “My son loved it, thank you!”

The location of future broadcasts of Volusia Reads Story events will rotate among county libraries in Deltona, Daytona Beach, Edgewater and Port Orange. In addition to Library Services and the Marine Science Center, the Lyonia Environmental Center also will be launching Facebook live events such as story time with some of the center’s animals and crafts that families can do at home.

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