ImagineIF Library in Kalispell joined millions of readers across the country and the world as they “Read for the Record” on Thursday.
Kalispell Youth Services Librarian Ellie Newell circulated around a busy children’s section, assembling a small group to hear a story about a character named Omu, whose generosity to her neighbors brought a community together in appreciation.
Newell picked up the award-winning book “Thank you, Omu!” by Oge Mora, while children took their seats. With the turn of a page, the story unfolded of how the enticing aroma of Omu’s delectable stews drew the neighborhood to her door for a taste. After giving each neighbor some of the stew, she is left with none for herself, but is later surprised when her neighbors return with gifts of appreciation that ends in a feast.
Afterward, Newell led the group to a table where she created a pile of colorful and patterned paper, even an old book, for the children to have fun tearing into different shapes and sizes to create collage portraits.
Newell believes this is the first year ImagineIF has participated in Read for the Record, a national event organized by Jumpstart, an early education organization, to promote literacy by trying to beat the world record for the most people reading the same book at the same time.
In attempting to beat the world record Jumpstart aims to raise awareness about the importance of building early literacy and language skills in children.
Reading out loud also is also beneficial for children, Newell said.
“For children hearing the sounds read out loud, hearing the rhythm, hearing the speech — it’s important for forming early narrative skills such as understanding parts of a story and understanding how characters sound,” she pointed out.
“Oral storytelling is the oldest human art form. Sharing stories as a community is deeply rooted in our humanness — our humanity,” she added.
Reporter Hilary Matheson may be reached at 758-4431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.