In an effort to engage children this holiday season at a time when large gatherings are discouraged, the Harrie P. Woodson Memorial Library is offering a virtual story time that is tied into an in-person program that avoids gathering in groups.
“Traditionally, Christmas has been a significant time to bring children together at the library to share holiday stories and activities,” explained Heidi Frazier, Community Development Program Coordinator. “Although virtual story times bring books into our children’s homes, it doesn’t bring them into the library – a place that keeps Santa, the North pole, and many other worlds alive!” In response to this the Harrie P. Woodson Memorial Library videoed Santa and Mrs. Claus reading three books –one for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa in English and Spanish—and uploaded them to the library’s Facebook page as well as being shared on the City of Caldwell’s Facebook page and other Caldwell Facebook groups and City website.
At the end of each video, however, Santa and Mrs. Claus invite the children to complete an activity sheet provided by the Harrie P. Woodson Memorial Library or from their school teachers in which they are asked to write a holiday story or poem, draw a picture, or describe a favorite story book. Children may redeem their completed sheets for a gift from Santa and his elves at the Harrie P. Woodson Memorial Library.
Through generous contributions from community elves –the Caldwell Burleson County Lion’s Club, the Burleson Health Resource Center, the Girl Scouts of Central Texas, the Creative Memories Quilt Guild, the Caldwell Boy Scouts, and God’s House of Victory”—children who turn in their sheets are given generous goody bags filled with candy, fruit, cocoa, and a hand-crafted bookmark. In addition, every child is given a gift-wrapped book, a special gift from Santa who tells them in the videos, “Remember, reading is a gift to keep and a gift to share!”
Children may participate through Christmas by watching the holiday story time videos on the Harrie P. Woodson Memorial Library Facebook page or the City of Caldwell website at www.caldwelltx.gov or by completing an activity sheet which can be found here or at the library or requested from a Caldwell school teacher. All the children’s artistic and literary efforts will remain on display at the library throughout the month. The program is free, and you can view the storytime videos below.