PBS Ready to Learn + Storytime + Free Books

Free children’s books. That’s right. Read on…

A paper parrot colored and feathered mostly by Little MissLast week we took Little Miss (22-months-old) to our local library storytime. Not the normal storytime, but one sponsored by our local public TV station.

PBS Ready to Learn is about your PBS station offering a ‘daily line-up of weekday children’s programming specially designed to meet the needs of preschool and school-aged children.’ Yada. Yada. Yada. Little Miss doesn’t watch TV.

A component of Ready to Learn is a workshop series which distributes a free children’s book every month. Some web sites I’ve read indicate the books might be intended for disadvantaged children…?!? However, our PBS station performs no financial checks. Our library’s web site states all attendees receive a book. The event is advertised like every other public event in our local newspapers.

Here is how a recent storytime went, with a pirate theme…

1) Kids sat like robots watching an 8 minute PBS cartoon episode about pirates. Little Miss walked around the room and climbed on her parents, completely disinterested.

2) Two books about pirates were read aloud.

3) Kids created pirate hats out of construction paper. Little Miss participated by placing a gold sticker which secured a couple feathers to her hat.

4) Kids colored pre-drawn parrots, cut them out and glued on feathers. Miss did everything except the cutting. Mom helped a little with the coloring, though it takes a keen eye (see photo above). She did the green.

5) We left with one of the books which had been read to us—How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long.

I’d love for you to investigate your local PBS storytime to see how it compares. Check with your local library and/or PBS station and let me know what happens in your town.

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