Photo by Dave Warner – The newly renovated interior of the library.

The Little Falls Public Library is pleased to announce a new series of storytimes, twice a week, for the weeks of July and early-to-mid August, 10 AM at The Library in its Community Room. They will be free to the public with the Wednesday programs focusing on stories for toddlers aged zero to four (Toddler Time – Language & Literacy). The Thursday programs will focus on stories for kids aged four to eight (Children’s Story Hour – Promoting Literacy). The storytime programs will be led by local educator Amy LaPuma.

Originally from Rome NY, and a resident of Little Falls for the last 35 years, Mrs. LaPuma brings with her a wealth of experience educating and working with young learners. Beginning with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Oswego and a master’s degree in elementary education from Oneonta, LaPuma recently retired after thirty-three years of teaching kindergarten at Dolgeville Central School. She is looking forward to returning to enriching young people through her love of books, as well as her love of teaching. This career of devotion to educating the area’s young children was awarded with the distinction of the Observer-Dispatch Amazing Teacher Recognition in 2018.

In addition to her time teaching kindergarten in Dolgeville, she branched out as an educator, teaching Sunday School and volunteering at Vacation Bible School. Additional experiences include working as a daycare provider, an educational consultant, and a mentor to new teachers. Her love of reading follows her into the life she shares with her husband. She enjoys having more time to read in her retirement, while also traveling, kayaking, and spending time at their camp. LaPuma and her husband are parents to adult children and a toy poodle named Cooper.

While her Wednesday readings will be more focused on toddlers and her Thursday readings more focused on younger children, each week’s pair of readings will share these tentative general themes. July 7th and 8th will be themed upon “Fireflies”, July 14th and 15th upon “S’mores”. July 21st and 22nd will have a theme of “Under the Sea”, July 28th and 29th will have a theme of “Camping”. Story Times for August 4th and 5th will build around “Water”, August 11th and 12th around the theme “Beach”, and finally August 18th and 19th’s readings will be based around the theme of “Ice Cream”.

LaPuma will use her experience in the classroom to purposefully plan programs that immerse children in early literacy skills. Since language is a foundation for literacy, these storytimes will be rich in language activities and will include listening to stories, talking, singing, rhyming, movement, crafts, and more. According to Mrs. LaPuma, her goal is to promote early literacy and a love of books in a way that is fun, engaging, and developmentally appropriate for the various ages attending these story hours. These programs are designed to be actively enjoyed by children and their caregivers together. Literacy can be fun and educational!

The new programs were made possible by a grant from the Blaise and Leslie Carrig Charitable Foundation.

For more information on these and other upcoming events, you can visit the LF library’s website at www.lflibrary.org, check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/littlefallslibrary, or call 315-823-1542.

The Little Falls Public Library appreciates the opportunity to share education and entertainment with the local community live and in person and hopes to see you there!