Storytime at Sternberg offers learning and fun

The words on the pages literally come alive during Storytime at the Sternberg Museum of Natural History. Every Monday at 4 p.m. and Saturday at 11 a.m. children ages 3 to 9 are invited to the main lobby of Sternberg for stories and hands-on education.

According to Carol Blocksome, Sternberg Store manager, the idea of developing a time for stories was brought up at a staff meeting. "We are trying to encourage visitors to the store, to increase traffic," Blocksome said.

So far, Storytime has been bringing in eight to 10 children on Mondays and 10 to 15 children on Saturdays.
Four staff members of the store take turns reading during Storytime. They include: Michelle Hertel, Hays junior; Patricia Blocksome, Hays High School student; Cori Ruder, Hays junior; and Leah Beilman, Hays High School student.

Each Storytime has a different theme. Some of the themes include spiders, insects, bats, snakes, dinosaurs, wolves, coyotes, iguanas and lizards.

"The kids are fascinated," Blocksome said. "When they draw out live specimens for the kids to look over, every child is engrossed."

Cami Liggett, Sternberg Museum educator, provides information and examples that coordinate with the theme. Depending on the topic, Liggett will provide live specimens, parts of skeletons, fur, feathers, skin or unique pictures.

"One of the benefits is that it focuses on a specific age group and that we have specific topics," Liggett said. "That makes it easier for people to learn because I can target the things that I say and do to a specific level."

Liggett said the reaction to Storytime has been very positive.

"It's great to watch them as they make connections that go beyond just the storybook."

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