Jam sessions keep toddlers busy

2019-02-12 06:00
The toddlers and their guardians with the Pram Jam team.                                    PHOTO: THABANG KUAHO

The toddlers and their guardians with the Pram Jam team. PHOTO: THABANG KUAHO

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The Colin Eglin Sea Point Library comes alive every Wednesday morning when guardians bring their toddlers to the weekly Pram Jam session.

Pram Jam is an initiative by former librarian Roni Snitcher after attending an international library conference in 2007.

“I went to the conference in Durban and I heard about this fantastic South Australian programme called the Pram Jam where guardians take toddlers to libraries on a weekly basis. In those sessions, the little ones get to learn nursery rhymes and stories and music while making friends in the process,” Snitcher says.

She says the classes help children develop social skills.

“The earlier kids learn to be in contact with other children, the easier it will be for them to communicate effectively with others as they grow up.

“This is also good for nannies and mothers to meet each other and organise a network within the community,” Snitcher says.

Caregivers in the community quickly got word of this project and before Snitcher knew it, over 100 people had joined.

She says caregivers and children alike love the project and are always happy to participate.

“This is one of the most popular projects at the library and that is because everyone relates to its activities. We sing nursery rhymes we ourselves used to sing when we were young. We sing in English, Afrikaans, Isixhosa and even French.”

After reciting rhymes and singing, Snitcher and her team of volunteers read stories to the children.

She wishes that other librarians would introduce this project in other communities so that more children can become better acquainted with libraries.

“Children need repetition to get ahead in life. With music and storybooks, children will love libraries even more and start familiarising themselves with them at an early age.

“That will give them the assurance that there is a place for them in the library,” Snitcher adds.

Viwe Mxoli, one of the guardians who has been attending the Pram Jam sessions for almost five years, says she really enjoys them.

“This is one of the only times kids get to interact with other children, which makes them less agitated. It also helps me make friends in the community,” Mxoli said.

Bridgette Chikwenhere was working in Woodstock when she heard of the Pram Jam.

“A friend of mine used to work in Sea Point and told me about it. Every Wednesday, some of my other friends and I took a trip to Sea Point for the sessions.”

She says she was excited when she found a job in Sea Point.

The Pram Jam sessions are held every Wednesday from 09.15 to 11:00.

Sessions are free and open to everyone.

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