Stories at bedtime, be it a child listening or a parent reading, has to be one of those euphoric moments that never gets old.
To celebrate the timeless tradition and to promote literacy, the SUNY Fredonia campus recently held its annual "Bedtime Stories" night inside the Japanese Garden Room of Reed Library.
Children love to be read to, and the effects from having parents who read to them on a regular basis can help cultivate those moments into a lifelong love.
"It may sound cliche by now, but I believe there is no denying the huge impact that an early appreciation of reading can have on the richness and quality of a person's life," Emily VanDette, faculty advisor to the SUNY Fredonia chapter of the English Honors Society, Sigma Tau Delta, said. "At whatever stage of literacy a child may be, reading aloud with grown-ups is engaging, fun, and affirming, and it reinforces the joy and value in reading."
The "Bedtime Stories" tradition began in the spring of 2008 to foster a sense of community and literacy.
VanDette said the department thought it would be fun, enriching, and able to provide a setting that celebrates and affirms what seems to be a timeless tradition in most families: stories at bedtime.
OBSERVER Photo by Michael Rukavina
English professor Dustin Parsons gets the kids involved as he reads “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive” during the annual “Bedtime Stories” night inside the Japanese Garden Room of Reed Library on the SUNY?Fredonia campus.
"I believe the college students love to host this event because it feels nostalgic, and maybe because it reminds them of traditions that fostered their own love of reading," VanDette said. "And the children love coming out at bedtime in their pj's to hear stories - and to see grown-ups in their pj's, too."
The event was free and open to families in the community. A few dozen children of all ages were in attendance and clearly were enjoying the cookies and milk just before story-time began.
"This year because Reed Library co-sponsored the event, each child that leaves gets to take a Clifford book with them," event coordinator for the past three years and senior English major Lacey Daley said. "We've never been able to do that when we were just doing it within the department so that's kind of neat."
Attendees were encouraged to wear their pajamas and bring their stuffed animals, blankets and anything else that was part of their usual bedtime routine. Six faculty readers presented animal-based children's books for the audience. Readers included: English professor Dustin Parsons, Psychology professor Dr. Jack Croxton, University Librarian Randy Gadikian, English professor Dr. Kimmarie Cole, Head of Circulation at Reed Library Mary Lou Dewolf, and English professor Dr. Susan Spangler.
"I think everything started in the English department but as years go on we try and expand it, and now this year we're co-sponsoring with Reed and we have readers from the psychology department and Reed Library," Daley said. " ... it's a good way to foster a sense of literacy that is going throughout the entire community and not just the English department."
The event was sponsored by Fredonia's chapter of Sigma Tau Delta (the National English Honorary Society), as well as Reed Library.
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