SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Toy Lending Library recently tripled the size of its main office and expanded to three new locations, including Beresford and Yankton. Now, the organization is extending its reach within Sioux Falls.
The Toy Lending Library has created nearly 1,000 toy boxes since 2015 and is now sharing those bins with Siouxland Libraries.
“Every time we have an opportunity to partnership with an organization to have the toy boxes out there, it makes us so happy because we are reaching more children,” Toy Lending Library Executive Director Anelis Coscioni said.
The toys will be used as part of the library’s Ready, Set, Kindergarten program, which prepares 4- and 5-year-old kids for school.
“It’s not that if you have one toy box you learn everything but it could be a way for caregivers to, oh they need to learn that, so maybe I should do more things to get them engaged into learning,” Coscioni said.
“I was already kind of planning the Ready, Set, Kindergarten sessions and this just tied in perfectly into that,” Siouxland Libraries Birth to 5 Librarian Aldiajana Bonander said.
Aldiajana Bonander is the Birth to 5 Librarian at Siouxland Libraries.
“It’s already stressful when they start such a big journey in their life and then if they’re behind, whether it’s in early literacy or social-emotional or gross motor, fine motor, it just adds added stress to them and just being prepared in advance makes a big difference,” Bonander said.
Ready, Set, Kindergarten will teach a new skill each week, ranging from communication to fine motor skills, and the toy boxes are available in seven different languages.
“Not everyone speaks English and having it in different languages will help the parents and caregivers help their child get ready for kindergarten,” Bonander said.
It’s a free six-week program, and Coscioni is happy to lend a hand… and toys.
“Having this opportunity to partner with them to have the boxes there and then they go even further, helping families learn, it’s amazing, we get so excited about it,” Coscioni said.
The Ready, Set, Kindergarten program runs April 20th through May 25th and meets every Thursday at 10:00 a.m. at the Downtown Library. If you’d like to register, call 605-367-8700.