THE COUNTY library at John’s Quay was buzzing with a new concept of storytelling recently.
Both the library and the crèche at Newpark Close were presented with a ‘story bag’ from a group currently attending a family learning course run in partnership with the Co Kilkenny VEC and Newpark Close Family Resource Centre.
The idea behind story bags is that they are used as a way to encourage children to enjoy books. This particular story was about a tortoise looking to find a friend and the animals he met on his journey. The story bag contains all the ‘props’ needed to tell the story; in this story the animals were made up as soft toys, the child takes each animal out of the bag as it is mentioned in the story – so helping to tell the story. As the child becomes familiar with the story they can anticipate when to turn the page and follow the words in the book while listening to the audio cd. There is also a factual book with some basic facts about each of the animals represented in the story. Finally, linking to the story theme there are some games to play which help to encourage memory and numeracy skills.
The group were delighted to welcome Chairperson of Kilkenny County Council, Catherine Connery who spoke about parents being their child’s first teacher and congratulated the group on producing such an excellent resource. Ms Connery shared that she would love to have a story bag to use with her own grandchildren and how this novel idea of storytelling was such a positive way for parents to help their children in the important area of reading.
Mary Buckley, the organiser of the Co Kilkenny Adult Learning Centre spoke about the importance of family learning programmes in both recognising and developing parental skills and how these courses can help to build confidence and lead to further learning opportunities. Mary also congratulated the women on their work which has the added bonus of being put forward for FETAC (Further Education Training Awards Council) accreditation.