FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – The Allen County Public Library invited guests to tour the new StoryScape during a grand opening on Friday, September 23. StoryScape is the newly redesigned early childhood learning center located at the Department of Children’s Services Main Library. The space uses hands-on learning tools and library materials to encourage young children to read, sing, write, speak and play.
The space replaces the popular Early Child Center which has been welcoming children for over 13 years. StoryScape builds on this earlier success by introducing a flexible space of over 2,600 square feet primarily focused on ages 7 and under.
StoryScape features a baby garden for infants and toddlers to practice gross motor skills and three learning stations for young learners to practice imaginative play, hands-on learning and thematic exploration with parents, caregivers and older siblings. Spaces will be refreshed regularly to engage children with exciting new play opportunities.
Library officials released the following:
“It’s a place where children become the authors of their own stories and where caregivers can join them on this journey,” said Marra Honeywell, Director of Youth Services. “The look of achievement and wonder when a new robot crosses the Baby Garden Bridge or the accomplishment that comes with finding prehistoric treasures at Dino Dig is quite cause for celebration.”
StoryScape also connects this gaming experience to the world of books and reading. The space hosts the popular StoryTime sessions weekly, and the librarians have taken great care to place the books at children’s level. The goal is to connect playtime to books and learning.
The space was funded primarily by a $250,000 donation from the Allen County Public Library Foundation, as well as library reserve funds. It was considered following the closure of the Early Childhood Center with the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and has been under construction for a year. It opened in June 2022.
“At the Allen County Public Library Foundation, we were proud to support this engaging space that celebrates books and learning,” said Rich Beckman, Chairman of the ACPL Foundation Board of Trustees. “StoryScape gives the library the ability to change and grow as our community changes and grows. This is how we, as a community, help them to encourage lifelong learning and discovery. »
StoryScape is open Sundays from noon to 5 p.m., Mondays from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. the public.
For more information about StoryScape and other youth activities at the Allen County Public Library, call (260) 421-1200 or click here.