Bookworm of Edwards launches virtual story time with new YouTube channel
Special to the Daily
EDWARDS — Earlier this month, The Bookworm of Edwards launched the pilot episodes of its new YouTube story time channel, The Wiggle Worms. Featuring classic stories like “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” and new favorites like “Penguin and Pinecone,” The Bookworm is taking its in-store read-a-loud and making it available 24/7.
The weekly toddler story time, which takes place Mondays at 9:15 a.m., was started almost four years ago.
“We started story time a few months after I arrived at The Bookworm,” said Franny Gustafson, the children’s director of The Bookworm who hosts story time each week.
“Before I moved to Colorado, I worked at a fantastic children’s bookstore in Minneapolis where I hosted a Monday morning story time. It was always very well attended and sometimes we had upwards of 50 kids in the store. I thought it would be fun to bring story time to The Bookworm, and we’ve had a lot of success here as well.”
The regular event is filled with music, dancing, stories and more. Each week kids gather together with their friends to learn in a creative classroom. Of course, there is always the promise of crepes and hot chocolate afterwards.
The launch of an online channel was a combined effort from The Bookworm staff and marketing team. A lot of effort when into the simplest of things from the name Wiggle Worms, to the theme song, to the background clapping found in each of the videos. Ryan Miller has played an integral part in the launch.
“I am the director, cameraman, editor and back up clapper for Wiggle Worms,” Miller said.
Though he has spent most of his time behind the scenes, Miller was inspired when he saw the immediate response from the channel.
“I saw one of the videos had more than 500 views even before we officially launched. That’s when I thought, ‘Wow, this could really be a thing.’”
The idea to start the Wiggle Worms channel was inspired by the community of rambunctious but barely-walking kids who gather at the independent book shop.
“A few story time attendees mentioned to me that it would be great if we put story time on television or online,” Gustafson said. “The idea stuck with me. How cool would it be to have a book-related program that was short, educational and fun for families to watch? Sort of like a modern Reading Rainbow!”
There are several familiar faces that come into the store each week. Lauren and T.J. Voboril have been bringing their daughter, Violet, to story time for about two years now.
“Violet is 3 now but has been coming to The Bookworm since she was 6 days old,” Lauren said. “Story time has become a place of friends and familiarity for Violet. Once a week is just not enough.”
“It’s been a great way to start off the week,” T.J. agreed. “It’s energetic and welcoming.”
They are thrilled with the idea of bringing story time home with them for the rest of the week.
“It’s a connection to an essential part of the community. It promotes creativity and stimulation for our kids when we’re at home,” T.J. said. “Story time has been an instrumental part of Violet’s development.”
Violet was unable to comment on her love of story time due to the more pressing matter of the hot chocolate in front of her.
But, with the launch of Wiggle Worms, The Bookworm hopes to offer Violet, and the rest of its community, the opportunity to feel part of the store whether they are near or far. It gives parents a chance to take part in an interactive and creative moment with their children. It also provides the opportunity for the theme song to be stuck in your head for days and days.
Sarah Taylor is the manager at The Bookworm of Edwards. Email comments about this story to firstname.lastname@example.org.