Storytime at the Gardens with Miss Georgia
Parents and educators know that storytime creates a participatory experience allowing young learners to enjoy hearing language in dynamic and entertaining ways. Hearing storybooks read aloud brings language learning alive. For children, it’s just fun.
Every Wednesday morning, Georgia Lamirand sets up the front corner of the Visitor Center of the Crystal Bridge Conservatory for Reading Wednesday. She volunteers to lead the longtime toddler storytime program at Myriad Botanical Gardens with books that are nature-themed and based on the season. For each session she is surrounded by up to a dozen young children, seated on carpet squares, attentively listening to her read aloud.
Lamirand is a pro. She spent 29 of her 40 years as an educator teaching early care and education instruction at Francis Tuttle Technology Center in Oklahoma City. Before retiring, Lamirand made volunteering one of her goals. On a field trip with her church group, she visited Myriad Botanical Gardens during the Bringing Books to Life – Children’s Garden Festival and was hooked.
“I just fell in love with the Children’s Garden,” she said. “At that time it was beautifully decorated for The Very Hungry Caterpillar and I decided that volunteering with the Gardens was for me.”
Since then, Lamirand can be found helping out with not only the Children’s Garden Festivals but also Pumpkinville, Weekly Walk-Ups, and Spring Break Pop-Ins. However, it is storytime that she looks forward to the most.
“Truthfully, whenever the spot came open for storytelling, I jumped on I because it utilizes my skills and it is what I like to do,” she said. “It makes my heart feel good that the children and parents enjoy coming to the Gardens on Wednesdays. I feel fortunate to have experience in this area.”
Lamirand ensures that books are age-appropriate and will often include a craft to tie to the story. Storytime moves to the Children’s Porch in warm weather. You will find “Miss Georgia” there.
For the last three years, Georgia Lamirand has been a top volunteer at the Gardens, contributing many hours of her time helping with children’s programs.