My Santa Barbara | Story Time: New Children’s Library Springs Into Action

Posted on Dec 23 by Leslie Dinaberg

barnard_101315L_047-EditMayra Benitze leads preschool story time at the Santa Barbara Children’s Library. Photo by Amy Barnard.

Mayra Benitze leads preschool story time at the Santa Barbara Children’s Library. Photo by Amy Barnard.

By Leslie Dinaberg

Cue the super hero music. The air sizzles with excitement as the audience scrambles to find their favorite spots and story teller Mayra Benitze urges her preschool-aged team of mighty avengers to “zip your lips, put on your capes and sit down criss-cross applesauce style.”

Watching these mini super heroes transform into “super listeners” is almost as much fun as watching the transformation of the new library.

It was fire prevention week and Benitze kept her legion of little literati (at least 50 strong) under a magic spell with books about Sparky the firehouse dog; learning to stop, drop and roll; singing and dancing; and of course, more books to read aloud.

Preschool story time takes place every week, and thanks to the beautiful new children’s space—which takes up the entire below ground floor—is a lot livelier than it used to be. Wiggly story times for toddlers and babies, reading hour with ARF! trained therapy dogs, music and movement for infants and toddlers, and bilingual story times are just a few of the programs that take full advantage of the welcoming new library.

The Children’s Library also offers teen book clubs, computer stations; free tutoring and homework help and thousands of books to inspire readers of all ages.

This story originally appeared in the winter 2015/16 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.

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