Virtual Storytime News: Guest readers include a Clinician/Vocalist and PWSA USA Conference Planner


Latham’s Virtual Storytime Coordinator Katrina Fryklund shares more wonderful highlights of the Children’s Program’s online series. Her reflections follow, as well as a short video clip of Clinician Chelsea Crowe reading “I am Peace…”

“As June came to an end and July began to flourish, the students joining our Storytime were delighted with their summertime plans. Kiddos joined us from Colorado to Massachusetts, and for some, it was their first full week of summer vacation—excitement was palpable through their Zoom screens! Throughout June, Latham Centers welcomed professionals from different fields, all of whom had a special place for the kiddos in our lives with Prader-Willi syndrome.

Chelsea Crowe, one of our clinicians and a professional singer, said that she loves being a clinician at Latham Centers. “It’s such an amazing group of people to work with – the staff and the students – and it’s really important to me that you guys all get the things that you need to live your best everyday life,” she told students on Virtual Storytime. When asked how she became an advocate for people with PWS, she replied, “It’s because of those amazing kiddos at Latham, and now you!” On Monday, June 29th, she read I am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness written by Susan Verde and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. The kiddos were thoroughly immersed in the story as Chelsea read. (Summary: “Express emotions through direct speech. Find empathy through imagination. Connect with the earth”. Students were eager to learn more about how Chelsea began her career as a vocalist. She explained that it takes hard work and determination and that she had many years of practice. Chelsea ended by singing a campus favorite with Latham student Luke, Three Little Birds with familiar words, “every little thing gonna be alright” by Bob Marley. By the end, everyone joined in for the chorus!

On Wednesday, July 2, the students met Jackie Mallow, a longtime advocate in the PWS community. Jackie recognized a few familiar faces, and it was fun to watch her catch up with old friends and meet new friends! Jackie read The Secret Life of a Centipede written by Felicia Law and illustrated by Lesley Danson. In this fun tale, the students learned about a centipede who kept a diary, and wrote about the huge closet she needed for all her shoes! With shoes for every occasion, she certainly needed to clean out her closet, to which many students (and adult participants) sympathized. Logan, one of our friends who joins weekly, asked, “How did you become an advocate for people with PWS?” Jackie responded, “I met a friend with PWS, and when I was with her we always had a lot of fun! I knew I wanted to help her tell her story. I love my work because I get to meet new families, and talk to new friends all the time!” As noted in our previous Storytime blog post, there is a common thread amongst our readers: advocacy, connection, companionship, and a feeling of unity. We are very grateful to Chelsea Crowe and Jackie Mallow, and all the readers who joined us for our Virtual Storytime throughout the month of June. Because of you, the participants have a new understanding of and connection to more than 13 professions!”

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