Tuesday, September 8, 2009
First Random Act: Tuesdays at Ten
It's my first day participating in Darcy Pattison's Random Acts of Publicity Week and I'm already cheating.
Because Tuesdays at Ten, my first 'random act', isn't a book. Rather, it's several books. It's also rhymes and songs and finger plays. And it's a talented singer/guitarist, a Spanish teacher with word cards, a creative photographer snapping shots, a cast of adoring fans and one adorable storyteller named Molly Del Vecchio.
Del Vecchio's concept is simple -- once a week, she offers a structured 30-minute story time that brings families out of their homes and into a local cafe for fun and friendship.
A former elementary school teacher and mother of a 5-year-old, Del Vecchio begins and ends her weekly story time with hugs for the many friends -- big and little -- who wouldn't miss their weekly pick-me-up. In between the hugs are songs, finger plays and books: Molly reads a few different picture books related to the theme of the day, which can be anything from feet to friendship to firefighters. She not only reads the books to her audience, she carries along a crate full of picture books from the local library. When story time is over, moms and dads mingle while children romp around, often finding a cozy spot to flip through one of the library books they've dug out of Del Vecchio's crate of books.
Del Vecchio is already a local celebrity adored by the Tosa toddler set, so hopefully it won't be long before she'll be able to share her stories with a wider audience. She's already expanded her storytelling efforts: she recently started doing birthday parties and special events under the moniker Happy Hour and was hired this summer to teach part-time at the Milwaukee Zoo. Let's hope this is just the beginning of a fabulous storytelling career.
Let's also hope that other creative moms and dads around the world will follow Del Vecchio's lead and start their own story hours in coffee shops around the globe. The beauty of Del Vecchio's simple idea is that it promotes literacy among our children and helps families engage with the community. Kudos, Molly!