Children’s story time

Mizhelle D. Cortes, Staff writer

Every year the Downey City Library celebrates National Police Week in May, by hosting a bilingual story time for children ages 3-5. On Wed., May 14, the library invited the Downey Police Department to read stories to children and answer questions about the duties of being a police officer.


Before the event started at 10:30 a.m., the children made their way to the front to sit on the floor, while chairs were set up for parents or guardians. Officer Castro, who was the special guest, started reading a children’s police story. Children sat quietly to listen and ask questions about the book. Among the children was four-year-old Michael Castana who was eager to hear stories.


“I like books,” Castana said. “I like to read. It was fun!”


Officer Castro read two books to the children and passed out police stickers. It was his first time participating in the library’s story time event and expressed hopes of being privileged to do it again.


“It’s very exciting for me and the kids,” Officer Castro said. “[Seeing] the expressions they make and the happiness in their eyes are just incredible. It’s a great program. I enjoy it and I would do it every year, as often as I could.”


Aside from celebrating National Police Week, the Downey City Library hosts story time days to introduce children to books and encourage reading. It has been created as far back as when the Downey Library was considered a county library around the 1960s.


Children’s librarian Gina Orello is among the people who organize the event.


“Every year we celebrate National Police Week and invite the Police or Fire Department or ask the mayor to read,” Orello said. “It’s a standard staple of the library’s program. I think it’s wonderful and it’s a great beginning for kids. Most of these kids have parents who already read to them, but it’s still nice to get the kids to come in every once in a while.”


Bilingual story time will continue to go on Wednesdays, from June 25- August 13 in the Cormack Room at the Downey City Library for children stories, songs, and arts and crafts.