Saturday, January 18, 2014

1000 Books and Lots of Stories

Alexander displays some of the many books he's read.
Most four-year-olds love reading stories; unlike most four-year-olds, Alexander can prove exactly how much he loves it. Alexander recently completed the “1000 Books Before Kindergarten” program at the Augusta Public Library, which began in September through a “Building Readers” mini-grant from the Wisconsin Department of Education.

On January 9, Alexander claimed his prize for reading 1000 books. It was, of course, a book: No Kisses Please by Hans Wilhelm.

In addition to the “Building Readers” program, the Augusta Public Library offers many other educational opportunities for youngsters like Alexander. These include the annual Summer Reading Program and special events throughout the year, and children can attend a Preschool Storytime at the library every Friday from 9:30 to about 10:30 a.m.

Youth Librarian Cassie Banaszak plans each Storytime around a different author or theme, incorporating a variety of activities as well the stories themselves. She works hard to make her programs fun as well as educational. “If the Storytimes aren’t interesting for me, they’re not going to be interesting for the children,” she observed.

Alexander is a frequent Preschool Storytime participant. When asked what he likes best about the Storytimes, he replied, logically enough, “Books!”

His mother, Cathryn, also appreciates the educational aspect of the Storytimes. “It’s great because he learns stuff,” she remarked.
Alexander poses with Toby the Library Dog and his mom Cathryn in the Storytime Room.

The Preschool Storytimes are free and open to the public, as are all Augusta Public Library programs. They will take place almost every Friday through April 10, with the exceptions of January 24 and March 21.

On January 24, the library won’t offer the regular morning Preschool Storytime; instead, it will host a Superhero-themed Family Storytime from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. There will also be a special program on March 20. Please note that all children should be accompanied by parents or guardians when attending library events.

Anyone interested in more information can call the Augusta Public Library at (715) 286-2070 or send an e-mail to

(This article also appears in the January 15, 2014, issue of the Augusta Area Times.)

Cassie reads to Alexander as Cathryn looks on.

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