News Column

'Tell me a story'

September 4, 2014

By Keith Strange, The Mount Airy News, N.C.

Sept. 04--Kids in school have plenty to keep them busy, but officials at the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History want to remind the public that there are programs for those left at home as well.

"We are trying to get the word out about our monthly storybook program," Museum Director Matt Edwards said. "I thought this would be a good time, with the kids in school, to remind those who have kids still at home that there are things to do at the museum.

The program is held the first Friday of every month at 10:30 a.m., Edwards said.

"This week's program is being hosted by volunteer Anna Bush," he said, noting he has no idea what Friday's program will entail. "In many respects we treat this program the same way we treat our storytellers. When we bring them in we give them carte blanche to run the program and simply give them any supplies they need."

Edwards said the program started in 2010 as a way for the museum to help instill a love of reading at a young age.

"This is a free to the public event that promotes children's literacy," he said, adding that the program has been popular since its inception. "The only way you can gauge the success of a program here is if they stick around. This program sticking around so long certainly speaks to its popularity and the importance we place on helping introduce the children of our community to reading as recreation.

During the program, volunteers read a book or two to children, and then host a crafts activity that goes with the book.

"For us, this is a way to reach out to the community," Edwards said. "We want the museum to be an active a vibrant resource that's part of the community's daily life. We don't want to be a place you go once in a while when family comes to town."

The program also offers a chance to instill a love of history in young people, he added.

"It's a way for us to reach out to a young audience and get kids excited about coming to the museum," Edwards said. "Hopefully, they'll not only be patrons when they're young, but in adult life as well. We want them to take a positive experience with them when it comes to museums, wherever they end up living."

Edwards said Mayberry Toy Company is sponsoring the free program.

"This year, they've committed to sponsoring several of our fall programs, and this is a great thing," he said. "That kind of community support is vital to allowing us to continue offering free programming to the community."

Keith Strange can be reached at 336-415-4698 or via Twitter @strangereporter.


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Source: Mount Airy News (NC)

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