Every Thursday at 2:30 p.m., groups of children file into the Rhome public library to listen to Daniabelle Hromanik tell stories.
Hromanik, a Rhome library volunteer and English teacher at Bridgeport Intermediate School, held the first storytelling day June 10. She volunteered to start the program after the previous librarian, Linda Gillespie, died in her car after work in March. Gillespie had done the summer reading program in addition to her other duties.
Janice Wilson, a library board member, said they almost didn’t have a reading program this summer.
“We wanted [a reading program] so badly, but we lost our librarian in March, so we didn’t have someone to do it,” Wilson said. “We were just delighted, just beside ourselves [when Hromanik volunteered].”
On this particular Thursday, Hromanik told the story of the Little Red Hen – the classic barnyard work-ethic tale. A crowd of 13 children acted out different animals’ parts as they smiled and listened.
“It’s fun just to see the kids enjoy the stories and smile and get into it,” Hromanik said.
A jar of marbles sat on a table beside Hromanik as she read. Children who want to participate bring a list of each book they’ve read throughout the week and get to drop a marble in the jar for each book. Hromanik said this is one way to motivate the children to enjoy reading.
“We just want to encourage reading in the community for the kids,” Hromanik said.
Story and craft time is every Thursday from 2:30 to 3:30 at the Rhome Public Library. Children 11 years and younger are allowed to participate – younger children must be accompanied by an adult.
A hot dog supper is planned for the children and their parents Aug. 7 at 6 p.m.