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Storytime in a box

Storytime in a Box is an innovative program designed to support Idaho libraries in their community storytime efforts. The FREE program is funded entirely by donations to Idaho Public Television.

We understand that providing quality library programming takes time and effort and that our libraries wear many different hats in their service to Idaho communities. Our Education Team is uniquely composed of early childhood educators and former library staff who understand the complexity of early childhood education and family interaction. Storytime in a Box is an effort to relieve some pressure from library staff, and provide supplies and ready-to-go programming that can be used at a moment’s notice. 

Here’s how it works: Libraries apply to the program, and we select approximately 25 libraries each year to participate. Generally, we choose those in greatest need of resources and those that play a central role in their communities. Each month for about four months, we carefully curate boxes of storytime goodies—around $50 worth of materials including three children’s books, manipulatives and games, art supplies and sometimes a puppet—and send them to participating libraries.

We design the contents of each Storytime in a Box to facilitate parent and caregiver participation with the child during storytime. And each box a library receives also includes an activity for families to do together at home.

For librarians, the boxes include a booklet containing themed monthly program plans, book lists, song lists, visual agenda cards, and planning and evaluation forms. We understand that many libraries in Idaho are in rural locations and don’t have access to local booksellers; by providing books, we hope to introduce new material to storytimes and expand local collections. 

We also host a library cohort so librarians can share ideas and storytime best practices with one another. This allows library staff to connect and share ideas on how they utilized the materials provided. 

Library applications are generally accepted in the fall. Contact us for more information. 
We also invite members of the public to donate a Storytime in a Box to a local library. See donate link below.

2024 Book Selections


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