‘Velveteen Rabbit’ becomes real for preschoolers at storytime

If you haven’t read “The Velveteen Rabbit,” that headline won’t make sense to you. But it will to the 40 preschoolers — along with parents, grandparents and siblings — who packed both floors of Neighbor to Neighbor for Friday morning’s “Reading with Leaders” storytelling session.

Upstairs, Dr. Bonnie Cramer read the classic children’s book by Margery Williams to the preschoolers — including her own son and daughter — while downstairs Sister Ann Ashwood entertained another group with her telling of the story.

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After the story, all the children and grownups had cookies and chocolate milk. As their final treat, each child received a copy of “The Velveteen Rabbit” personalized with a picture of Dr. Cramer and Sister Ann.

Dr. Cramer lives and works in Concordia at the Family Care Center, while Sister Ann is a retired grade school principal from Grand Junction, Colo. She is spending six months in Concordia with the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Friday morning’s session was the third of 12 planned in the “Reading with Leaders” series at the Neighbor to Neighbor center in downtown Concordia. The program was originally funded with a grant from the Kansas Health Foundation and designed for 30 children. But the first two sessions were so popular that more parents wanted their children to take part. Rather than turn children away, Cheryl Lyn Higgins and Lois Lervold — who make up the staff of Neighborhood Initiatives Inc., an office of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia that is coordinating the program — looked around for another grant to buy more books.

The additional funding for up to 50 children per session comes from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange, Calif.

The upstairs playroom  is packed when 30 preschoolers, siblings and parents arrive for storytime, so Lervold lined up an additional reader for each session, making it possible to have two storytelling gatherings at the same time. The additional reader uses the first-floor playroom.

“Reading with Leaders” is free and open to all children ages 3, 4 and 5. All the storytimes will be at Neighbor to Neighbor, 103 E. Sixth St., Concordia. They are all scheduled on Fridays, and begin at 10 a.m.

Parents need to register in advance by calling Neighbor to Neighbor at 785/262-4215.

Because of a conflict in scheduling, the next “Reading with Leaders” session has been pushed back a week. It will now be held Nov. 16, and the book to be read will be “Harold and The Purple Crayon.”


One thought on “‘Velveteen Rabbit’ becomes real for preschoolers at storytime

  • October 21, 2012 at 8:20 pm


    How many parents listening to this book can learn and pass on the values in their own home?


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