MOUNT OLIVE — A snowball fight broke out in Steele Memorial Library during storytime right after the holidays.
Annabelle Long, 3, grabbed as many she could hold and sent them flying toward Karen Marcin, children’s library assistant, who was able to dodge some, but not all, of the soft, fluffy balls.
However, since the snowball fight was inside where it was warm and dry, children attending the library’s storytime had to make do with cotton balls — the children didn’t seem to mind at all.
The snowball fight was a fun way to wrap up the storytime session on Wednesday for ages up to 5. A second session is held on Thursdays. Both run from 10 to 11 a.m. and include stories and activities associated with them.
The snowball fight was just a bonus.
“Every Wednesday we come, and then twice a month they have one at night and her mother brings her at night,” said Annabelle’s grandmother Pamela Beaman. She learns to sit and listen. “She gets to participate with other children. She’s an only child and doesn’t go to pre-school.
“So she gets to participate with other children. She listens and follows directions. She adores books. We check out books as well as go to storytime.”
Annabelle has been attending the storytime since she was about 12 months old, Beaman said.
It is an excellent program, she said.
“Her mother came as a child,” Beaman said. “She (Annabelle) came during the summer when they had the school children program. Her mother came for that and loved it, and even volunteered some to work with that.
“It has really helped her (Annabelle). She was really shy and withdrawn, so it has really helped her to come out and participate with other children.”
Annabelle is the daughter of Jessica Long.
Josie Lautenschleger, 2, was having fun slinging snowballs, too, as her father, Matthew, and grandmother, Sally Lautenschleger, watched. Her mother, Tammy Lautenschleger, was unable to attend.
Josie has been coming for almost a year, her father said.
“We come every Wednesday at 10 o’clock,” Lautenschleger said. “She does this on Wednesdays and then on Thursdays, she does a little playtime at a church in Goldsboro for about four hours.”
She is an only child so her grandmother has been bringing her since she found out about the program, he said.
“We don’t really put her in day care because my parents, they watch her during the week, so this is an opportunity for her to get out and play with other kids, learn how to act in social settings,” Lautenschleger said.
Josie is an outgoing child, and everybody is a friend, he said.
Lautenschleger said Josie loves the storytime program.
“It is another opportunity for her to read books, interact, educate, learn,” he said. “She probably learns more here than all week playing at home just because there are other kids here.
“It’s just, anything kids can do to interact, learn — it’s just fantastic. I love that the library puts this on. We definitely take advantage of it, that’s for sure.”
Attendance varies at the sessions, but Thursday’s normally draws a larger attendance, Marcin said. There can be as many as a dozen children on Wednesday, while Thursday there can be between 16 to 20 children.
“We just do stories and songs and finger plays and back here (J.D. Evans Conference Room) we do activities,” she said. “They love to come back here. We do a pajama storytime the second and fourth Tuesday nights at 6:30. We have fun.
“The first and third Tuesday we do a play day at 11 which is not structured, they just play.”
Steele Memorial Library is located at 119 W. Main St. in Mount Olive and can be reached at 919-299-8105.