SmartStart StoryStation now open at Ramage Park

Published 2:30 pm Friday, July 22, 2022

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All was quiet at Ramage Park in Brundidge on Wednesday morning.

Brundidge City officials and Pike County Chamber of Commerce representatives joined the staff of the Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library for a ribbon cutting ceremony for the library’s SmartStart StoryStation, which will be available to young readers and students at Pike County Elementary School.

The nursery rhyme, Humpty-Dumpty, is a favorite among children. At the Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library’s StoryStation, when Humpty-Dumpty has a great fall, the children are challenged with putting him back together again.

Once the ribbon was cut and the SmartStart StoryStation was officially opened, the quietness was broken by the chatter, laughter and squeals as 40 youngsters from Pike County Elementary School’s summer program broke rank and hurried to explore the StoryStations.

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Soon, the children were peering through a telescope, putting Humpty Dumpty back together again, playing tunes on the color-coded xylophone, reading rhymes in Spanish and enjoying stories told through words and pictures. Even the teachers were given turns and enjoyed the activities as much as the children, said Sabrina Thomas.

“The children are having a great time, a great learning time,” Thomas said. “This story station is a fun, hands-on, learning tool for young children. The value of this is obvious.”

Katherine Dennis agreed “wholeheartedly” that learning in a playful way opens the doors of learning opportunities for all children.

“The children are having fun and they are learning from watching each other and by helping each other,” Dennis said. “This is a fun-learning place.”

Theresa Trawick, Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library director, said she is excited about the opportunity to have a SmartStart StoryStation available for young readers and for the students at Pike County Elementary School.

The moon has never been closer than when it is viewed through a SmartStart telescope. Although, the moon was not visible at the opening of the SmartStart StoryStation, the children were amazed at how close their surroundings appear when looking through a telescope.

“The Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library staff is just as excited, and very appreciative to have received a Library Service and Technology Act grant from the Alabama Public Library Service in the amount of $8,500 with a local match of $2,125 from the City of Brundidge,” Trawick said. “With the grant and matching funds, the library purchased the SmartStart StoryStation. Today is a very exciting day as our city library extends its services to include this unique learning opportunity for young children. The SmartStart StoryStation would not have been possible without the support of the LSTA grant and the matching funds from the City of Brundidge,” Trawick said. “We can’t say ‘thank you’ enough.

The SmartStart StoryStation is conveniently located at Ramage Park on South Main Street and within the park’s shaded walking trail. Adults can enjoy walking the trail while the children enjoy learning at the SmartStart StoryStation.

The Smart Start StoryStation is nearby the Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library on South Main Street and will be convenient for different children’s program throughout the year.

“We are very excited about having a SmartStart StoryStation available for children who are not yet readers, for beginning readers and for young readers,” Trawick said. “The story station has activities that encourage reading and generate excitement for reading and stories told.”

Brundidge City Manager Willie Wright said the SmartStart StoryStation is an extension of the services offered by the Tupper Lightfoot Memorial Library.

“The City of Brundidge is extremely proud of its library and  staff and appreciative of the services provided,” Wright said. “The StoryStation is another way the library serves our community. The City of Brundidge is proud  to be a part of making this learning station possible. We greatly appreciate the grant from the Alabama Public Library Service grant that made it possible and, of course, the efforts of Mrs. Trawick and the library staff.”

“Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” was easily played on the SmartStart xylophone. “Just look at colors on the music and hit the key of the same color.” Smiles appeared when the tune was recognized.