“KK Poppins” Debuts New Storytime Program

Smith reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Photo by Amanda at Promised Farm Photography
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MINT HILL, NC – On Thursday, May 6, a new interactive story time experience kicked off at Veterans Park.  Led by Mint Hill resident and mom Kandice Smith, the outdoor event included several interactive songs and stories.  “I like to interact and put the stories with movement,” says Smith.  “For example, last night I read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, and we had shakers that went with different parts of the story to make it more interactive and fun for the kids.”

Toddler girl with ribbons.
Smith’s storytime is interactive, pairing motions with songs and stories. Photo by Amanda at Promised Farm Photography

Currently studying for her Montessori certification, Smith’s varied background ranges from finance and event planning to being the Chick-fil-A cow!  “I love to be creative and help people,” she says.  “From that, I’ve gotten to do a lot of different things. I’ve been very lucky to pursue different passions; my husband is my biggest cheerleader!”

Although she hopes to one day utilize her Montessori certification to teach, Smith insists that running storytime is completely out of her comfort zone.  “I have dyslexia.  I didn’t learn how to read until the second grade,” she says.  Yet she’s motivated by the desire to be an example to her 15-month-old.  “My son Hudson is little, and I want him to know he can do hard things, and sometimes getting uncomfortable makes room for growth in a great way.”

Moreover, Smith hopes “KK Poppins Music and Storytime” fills a need in the community, providing a social and educational outlet for parents of young children.  In the past year, many local storytime programs, like those offered by the public library, have been put on hold or gone virtual.  “My goal is to have fun and see each other,” says Smith.  “2020 was such a weird, separated year, and I’m ready to get back to real FaceTime!.

Smith reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.
Smith reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Photo by Amanda at Promised Farm Photography

Anxiety aside, Smith was thrilled with her debut at Veteran’s Park.  “I was super nervous, but it went great!” she says.  “My goal was 3 families, and we had 5 show up! In my book, a total success.”

Smith plans to do one storytime a week; the locations will vary.  Her second one took place in Waxhaw on May 12, and next week she’ll be in Monroe at a private residence.  She’ll be back at Veteran’s Park in Mint Hill on May 26 at 6:00 pm.  “If the demand is there, I’ll do more in Mint Hill,” says Smith.  “It’s early, and I’m still trying to judge where to be.”

Keep up with KK Poppins Music and Storytime on Facebook and Instagram @kkpoppinsreads or by email at kkpoppinsinperson@gmail.com.

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Mary Beth Foster
Mary Beth Foster works part time as an essay specialist at Charlotte Latin School and full time as a mom to her eight-year-old daughter Hannah and her six-year-old son Henry. Prior to having children, she worked as a high school English teacher for nine years. Most recently, she chaired the English department at Queen's Grant High School. She and her husband have lived in Mint Hill with their children and their cats since 2011. Email: marybeth@minthilltimes.com