Friday, June 21, 2024
Concordia Sisters of St. Joseph

Concordia Sisters of St. Joseph

Loving God and neighbor without distinction: A pontifical institute of women religious of the Roman Catholic Church


Preschoolers warm up to a dancing giraffe

Sister Pat McLennon, left, introduces guest reader Betty Drake as this morning’s “Reading with Friends” begins at Neighbor to Neighbor.

THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT A GRANDMOTHER’S voice when she’s reading a story that gives comfort to small children. And you could hear that Friday in Betty Drake’s voice as she took on the role of guest reader for the monthly “Reading with Friends” story time at Neighbor to Neighbor.

Drake — a grandmother from Beloit whose grandson was a regular participant in Neighbor to Neighbor programs when he was a preschooler — read “Giraffes Can’t Dance.”


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The story by English author Giles Andreae, with illustrations by Guy Parker-Rees, touches on the feeling of not fitting in, the value of encouragement and the importance of following your own heart. And Drake brought warmth and gentleness to the reading.

The monthly “Reading with Friends” program has been part of Neighbor to Neighbor’s regular offerings since September 2012. The remaining sessions for the 2016-17 school year are Feb. 10, March 10 and April 7.

The story times for children ages 3, 4 and 5 all begin at 10 a.m. at Neighbor to Neighbor, 103 E. Sixth St. Each session includes playtime and a snack, plus children receive a free copy of that day’s book to take home. Parents, grandparents and other caregivers are invited to enjoy coffee and snacks downstairs at the day center for women while the story is being read upstairs.

There is a limit of 30 children per session so parents need to register for each session in advance by calling Neighbor to Neighbor at 785/262-4215 or emailing

“Reading with Friends” is funded in part by a grant from the Dane G. Hansen Fund, through the Community Foundation for Cloud County.


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