Why Fridays are Special

Miss Amanda, as our Youth Programs Coordinator here at AWS, has always loved Fridays. Not because it’s the last day of the work week or because she gets to head home for some weekend fun, but rather because Friday means Furry Tales. This program has always held a special place in Amanda’s heart because for all that she does to help the children in our community, Furry Tales is perhaps the most versatile. Why are Fridays special? Miss Amanda is here to share the secret!

Furry Tales Story Time

As stated above, Fridays mean Furry Tales. But what is this program all about? Simply stated, Furry Tales is a free, drop-in event held every Friday at a different local library in our community. During Furry tales, AWS’ Youth Programs have combined pets, literacy, and fun for toddlers, preschoolers and their families. There are always songs, playtime, crafts, movement and, of course, stories to be read. Not to mention time spent learning about and interacting with a real AWS animal!

For Miss Amanda, though, Furry Tales also means getting to connect with the amazing children’s librarians from around the community. Through her engagements, Amanda gets to interact with and learn from a wider community of animal-lovers and humane education teachers. In her opinion, libraries are the heart of every community because they provide a safe, fun, and educational place for people of all ages to learn, communicate, connect, and engage with each other. Being able to hold weekly Furry Tales in the comfort of a community library is why Fridays are so special!

“Fridays mean Furry Tales at one of four local libraries where I get to share stories, songs, puppets, and an animal with an eager group of young story time participants. Each month I select a theme, research books that inspire empathy, and arrange a kid-safe furry or scaly friend to come along for the event. I appreciate how much work and dedication each of my library partners puts into their own story time engagements, and I always learn from each of them as I hone my own skills. Libraries are wonderful places and accepting of everyone, and when I set foot into Kennebunk’s Free Library, Sanford’s Goodall Library, Kennebunkport’s Graves Memorial Library, or Biddeford’s McArthur Library, I know we are about to have a really special time. That is why Fridays mean so much to me!”

Amanda Zimmerman, AWS Youth Programs Coordinator

Furry Tales Impact

Since she began this season of Furry Tales back in September of 2023, Miss Amanda crunched some numbers and learned that the program has made quite an impact. Through all community libraries, Amanda has read to, danced with, entertained, and educated just under 600 children and their families! And with the rest of April and May to go, that number is only going to increase. As Miss Amanda puts it, “There is magic when you combine children, stories, and animals. This is why Fridays are my most favorite days.”

We hope that you and your little ones can join us for our next Furry Tales Story Time happening on Friday, April 26 at McArthur Library in Biddeford. Stories begin at 10:30am, but you’re welcome to drop in anytime for some dancing, music, movement, and play. And, as always, there will be a program animal to greet you! Come and learn why Fridays are, in fact, so special.