Story time on the afternoon, Oct. 24 at Evanston Public Library was thrilling for the young audience hearing the stories in Mandarin.
The presentation by volunteer Evanston Township High School students studying Mandarin emerged from a conversation between the high school Mandarin teacher, Treena Larson, and a few Chinese community members. Ms. Larson had learned of a need for Chinese language reading materials for young children, ages 2-5, whose caretakers are often Chinese speakers unfamiliar with English.
The Mandarin class members decided to create and illustrate story books for donation to the Chinese community using Evanston Public Library.
Martha Meyer and Jessica Iverson of the Evanston Library embraced the plan and organized a story time event in Chinese featuring the stories students wrote. For an hour, the students read their stories one by one in between Chinese songs and English nursery rhythms.
In preparation for the story time, the two Library staff members also met at Evanston Township High School to advise Ms. Larson’s students about creating and presenting stories for young audiences.
“The students absorbed many of the tips and techniques given to them and ran with their imagination, making their story writing project a huge success,” Ms. Larson said.