Tales for Tots creates opportunity for children

Published 5:12 pm Monday, August 31, 2015

Tales for Tots on Aug. 28 featured the story Pete the Cate along with crafts and games for families. (Reporter photo / Jessa Pease)

Tales for Tots on Aug. 28 featured the story Pete the Cate along with crafts and games for families. (Reporter photo / Jessa Pease)

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer

PELHAM— The last Friday of each month, children up to five years old in Pelham get to participate in crafts, music and dance and story time at the Arc of Shelby County.

“We provide the opportunity for children and their families in Shelby County to come together and share in developmentally appropriate activities in a great, no pressure atmosphere,” said Tales for Tots facilitator, Elizabeth Boone.

Tales for Tots serves both the Arc’s participants and children in the community. Not only does the program provide peer models for the children, but it also allows community members to come in and see the services the Arc of Shelby County provides.

The event starts out with a social time where families can come in and choose a craft such as coloring or painting. They do music and movement to incorporate parents and kids together, and then they do story time.

“Pete the Cat” was the book chosen for the Aug. 28 Tales for Tots. Boone said the stories are usually only five to seven minutes to keep the young children entertained.

“The great thing about our Tales for Tots is it’s an open forum,” she said. “We have staff members here to guide parents and students through the crafts, and they get to choose what they want to do.”

Participants in the Arc of Shelby County program aren’t asked to bring a donation, but community members are asked to bring in items such as wipes, paper towels or other items on their wish list.

“A lot of our families don’t have the opportunity to see other families that either are going through the same struggles or that have a child that is their child’s own age,” Boone said. “That peer to peer with the children is crucial because children learn best from other children.”

Mandy Golightly and her daughter attend every month. Golightly adopted her daughter from China when she was only 15 months old, and she had cleft lip and palate.

The Arc’s early intervention program came out to Golightly’s house and helped her daughter with making sounds and with breathing, and Golightly said she has advanced greatly.

“We come to the story time and she just loves it,” Golightly said. “I’m a stay at home mom and she’s not involved with anything with other little kids. We love that she comes here and has buddies that are her age.”