In 2005, Mr. Tom was bitten by the story time bug while training to become a certified story reader with the Oakland Public Library. During the following years, he built "storytimeWOW!" an early literacy enrichment program incorporating music and movement. He’s conducted hundreds of weekly programs as an early literacy expert and licensed pre-k and kindergarten music and movement educator.
"Mr. Tom is a high energy guy who really makes learning fun." -Kevin Zhang, father of student- Mr. Tom's storytimeWOW embraces the foundational roles of connection, repetition, imagination and integration in child development. Teacher/student connection provides the framework for learning and building social skills like listening and cooperation. Mr. Tom focuses on building teacher/student connection though playfulness and humor. Children experience repeated elements in Mr. Tom's storytimeWOW lesson plans. Repetition helps young children feel safe and at ease. From this comfortable place, children may engage, explore and learn. We all know that children between the ages of 3 and 5 have unlimited imaginations. It is during these “wonder years” that kids reach the height of pretend play. Mr. Tom incorporates multiple imaginative play elements in his lesson plans. Finally, Mr. Tom's storytimeWOW strengthens young children’s growing mental capabilities through the process of integration. Integration occurs when children experience key concepts in different ways. Throughout Mr. Tom's lesson planning, key concepts are experienced through spoken language, visuals, music, and movement.
Mr. Tom is honored by quotes like these from parents and teachers: "I can see the great effort this program puts toward gearing songs and activities that are age appropriate, developmentally encouraging, and stimulating to young children." -Sarah Riggs, Assistant Director/Kindergarten Teacher- "We even brought our 2 1/2 year old daughter to sit in on storytimeWOW. All of the kids were fascinated by Mr. Tom and it’s easy to see why. The class involved movements, stories, songs, and little exercises (which the kids absolutely loved)." -Sandra Chow-Zhang, mother of student- "My kids look forward to storytimeWOW every Wednesday. Mr. Tom engages the children with songs, musical instruments, and stories. His class is truly something special." -Kristina Lee, Pre-K Teacher- "StorytimeWOW is a great addition to our curriculum. Our preschoolers adore Mr. Tom and take pleasure in his class. Parents often comment that children share what they have learned." -Cynthia Huang, Pre-K Director-
Mr. Tom graduated magna cum laude from Loyola University New Orleans with a BA in Communications. He became a certified story reader for the Oakland Public Library's Books for Wider Horizons program in 2005 and a licensed music and movement educator in 2007. He is currently enrolled in the San Jose State University Masters of Information and Library Science degree program.
Tom and his rescue dog Joey “bag of donuts” make their home in Northern California. They recently left the fog of San Francisco to enjoy the sunshine in Marin County.