Stories and sunlight: Reading program gets creative twist

NORFOLK -- The Norfolk Library's storytime lessons with children has returned, but now they are bringing kids to parks across the city. The program's been gaining popularity since its return. 

Karen Drevo has appreciated reading in a special way ever since she was young, when her access to books was limited.

"I come from a family of readers but when I was a child we did not have access to a fabulous library like we do here," Drevo said.

She learned to value education and books. Now, she's excited to be able to share that passion with families she's known for decades. "This is my 34th reading program so I am seeing children and grandchildren that I had 30 years ago," Drevo said.

The pandemic put a hold on group gatherings for the reading hour. Drevo brought it back in the spring with a fresh twist -- making it outside. 

"Reading is important for everybody, but it's so important to get children involved for their language development," she said.  

Her coworker agrees. "Introducing kids to early reading concepts makes it fun [...] it gets kids ready to recognize sounds and put together sounds with letters," said Amber Peterson, assistant youth services librarian.

Forty-eight kids were able to have a lot of fun at the program this Wednesday. Lately, it's been raking in more than 80 kids each week. It's offered every Thursday and Friday at 10 a.m., for free. Locations differ.