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York County Libraries and Connections Early Intervention and Supports Offer Virtual Sensory Story Time

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January 08, 2021
York County Libraries and Connections Early Intervention and Supports are offering a weekly Virtual Sensory Story Time for families with children ages 2 – 5 on Zoom.  The award-winning program was developed with therapists from Connections Early Intervention and Supports to provide young children with a story time experience that works well with their sensory needs.  The program features interactive book-based experiences, music, and activities that families can do with their children using materials they have at home.   The upcoming winter/spring session starts on Thursday, January 14 and runs at 10:00 a.m. every Thursday through April 15.  Featured themes include winter, cookies, houses, bath time, spring, colors, and farm.  Families should use the events calendar on yorklibraries.org to register for the free 14-week program series. 
 
Pre-pandemic, Sensory Story Time was held for small groups at several library locations and was well attended by families who lived nearby.  “The shift to a virtual platform now makes it easier for more York County families to participate from the comfort of their homes,” says York County Libraries Youth Services Director Paula Gilbert. “Young children and parents definitely benefit from the combined expertise of YCL youth services coordinators and Connections therapists.  Children acquire literacy and other key skills in a sensory-friendly learning setting.  And parents have a direct opportunity to learn from the experts and use what they learn to help their children navigate sensory needs daily.”
 
According to Gilbert, the program started at Kaltreider-Benfer Library in Red Lion.  Their successful collaboration with Connections Early Intervention and Supports garnered statewide recognition in 2017 from the Pennsylvania Library Association for their outstanding delivery of service to pre-k children.  A grant from York County Community Foundation’s Fund for York County enabled York County Libraries to offer sessions at additional libraries in 2019 and support from the Walmart Foundation has expanded the virtual program in 2020.   
 
“Connections Early Intervention and Supports values this collaboration with York County Libraries as it is able to provide a much-needed program to children and families within the community while we are all navigating this new normal spending more time at home,” says Connections Early Intervention and Supports Executive Director Liz Jones, MS, OTR/L. Our therapists have enjoyed working with the librarians to model for parents how to use the items they have in their home to create sensory based learning activities.”
 
Connections Early Intervention and Supports is a York-based agency that supports families to enhance their children's development and reach their fullest potential. Their therapists help children birth to five years old with a wide variety of diagnoses and challenges to include: developmental delay, autism spectrum disorder, speech and language delay, sensory processing disorder, Down Syndrome, orthopedic and neurologic disabilities, and other developmental issues. They provide free birth to three services for families within York and Adams counties that qualify for early intervention services.
 
York County Libraries include 13 libraries that provide the latest in print and electronic information, best sellers, Wi-Fi, story times, book discussions and more.  Their librarians are passionate advocates for lifelong learning, providing opportunities and resources for all ages.  Through early childhood literacy programs, they ignite a love of reading and learning in young children and empower parents as their children’s first teachers.  To learn more about York County Libraries’ programs, services, and resources, go to yorklibraries.org. 


CONTACT
Deb Sullivan                                                          
Community Relations Director                                      
York County Libraries                                                     
159 E. Market Street                                                      
York, PA 17401                                                                
dsullivan@yorklibraries.org
(717) 849-6931

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