Siblings turn library storytelling skills into awards in 4-H competition

Klara and Sam Mayhan used their love of Sno-Isle Libraries and storytelling to earn 4-H awards at the Evergreen State Fair this year.

Klara and Sam Mayhan
Klara and Sam Mayhan won ribbons in 4-H competition at the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe this year. Klara credits Sno-Isle Libraries for the storytelling techniques she learned at the Brier and Mountlake Terrace community libraries.

The siblings from Brier have attended Sno-Isle Libraries storytimes in Brier and Mountlake Terrace community libraries for about three years, said Mountlake Terrace Children’s Librarian Sasha Zykova. Klara, now 10, proved to be a natural leader.

“Her mom said, ‘You should teach storytimes,’ ” Zykova said. With approval from Library Manager Kristin Piepho, Klara started lending a hand.

Meanwhile, Klara was competing in 4-H Public Presentations and was judged Grand Champion for Story Time in 2017, 2018 and this year at the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe. She also competes in Impromptu Talk, Impromptu Teaching, It’s Debatable and Let’s Compare.

“I like to read stories to little kids,” Klara said. “Mom suggested it to me.”

Mom is Hilary Mayhan, and she appreciates all that Klara has learned from using Sno-Isle Libraries.

“The comfort she has with Sno-Isle Libraries, it’s like ‘I know where I am,’” Mayhan said of her daughter. “She’s confident enough to talk to librarians and used that research with her 4-H contests.”

In the fair competition, Klara said she had to interact with her audience of 4- and 5-year-olds and get them to follow her spoken commands as she read to them.

Mayhan kids read a story
Sam and Klara Mayhan (center) read a story to their mother, Hilary (right), and Mountlake Terrace Library Manager Kristin Piepho (left).

“I get pleasure from reading out loud and expressing my joy of reading,” Klara said.

Sam, 7, isn’t as strong a reader as his big sister, but he won a 4-H Cloverbud Achievement Award this year for his picture-telling presentation.

“It’s not just for strong readers,” Mayhan said of 4-H Public Presentations. “It’s also for picture readers like Sam.”

Zykova appreciates the Mayhan family’s dedication to Sno-Isle Libraries.

“They keep coming to us,” Zykova said. “By learning from us, they’ve learned how to make storytimes fun and entertaining.”