Valerie Byrd-Fort

Valerie Byrd Fort was born in Florida, but when she was four years old, her family moved to the midlands and never looked back. She is mom to Katy (human) and to Lucky, Mozzy, and Penny (rescue dogs). She is married to Marty Fort, owner of the Lexington School of Music, Columbia Arts Academy, and Irmo Music Academy. She is an Instructor for the School of Library & Information Science at the University of South Carolina, where she teaches Children’s Literature to future classroom teachers and librarians. She is also Coordinator for Cocky's Reading Express, the University of South Carolina's literacy outreach program. Valerie is passionate about books, literacy, libraries, and reading aloud with children of ALL ages. She writes about books and other literacy related topics on her blog, Library Goddess. In her free time, Valerie enjoys reading, Barre3, going to Target and endless scrolling of social media  
How NOT to Potty Train Your Toddler - UPDATE! | Columbia SC Moms Blog

How NOT to Potty Train Your Toddler – UPDATE!

Do you remember How NOT to Potty Train Your Toddler? Guess what?! I'm back with an update! How TO Potty Train Your Toddler! That's right! After 4 tries, my toddler is now (for the...

25 Books to Christmas

Counting down to Christmas is almost as much fun as the holiday itself. Do a search on Pinterest and you can quickly become overwhelmed with all of the different advent calendars and ideas for...
What I Didn't Know | Columbia SC Moms Blog

What I Didn’t Know…

From the moment my husband and I decided it was time to start our family, I have been surprised by many things related to pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood/parenting. Things I didn't know about and...

Reading With Your 6 – 9 Year Old

Continuing my series about reading with your children (check out previous posts - Reading With Your 3 and Under Child and Reading With Your 3 - 6-Year-Old), here are some tips and books to...
15 Tips for a Magical Trip to Disney World (With a Toddler!) | Columbia SC Moms Blog

15 Tips for a Magical Trip to Disney World (With a Toddler!)

My family of three just got back from Walt Disney World and we are already planning our next trip! I know many people who go ALL OUT for a Disney vacation - and why...

What’s for Dinner? (AGAIN?!) :: Exploring Meal Kit Options

We eat dinner at home most nights of the week. I am the cook of the family and each day my husband will ask, "What's for dinner?" Sometimes it feels like I am stuck...
carseat installation best practices

Tips from the Tech :: Best Practices for Car Seat Installation

Child Passenger Safety Week is September 17 - 23, 2017. This week is an excellent time to review best practice for car seat installation. Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children...

Reading With Your 3 – 6 Year Old

In June, I wrote about Reading With Your 3 and Under Child. The funny thing about kids is, they tend to grow! As they grow, they start to do really fun things with books...

Free Things to do in Columbia with Kids

Looking for something FREE to do with your kids now that we are in the thick of summer? Check out this list!  Splash Pads and other FUN with water Columbia’s got several splash pads, all of them...

How NOT to Potty Train your Toddler!

My little girl turned two in March. We spend over $100 a month on diapers and wipes. I am ready for her to learn how to use the potty and to wear actual underpants...

How I Survived the First Two Years of Motherhood

Recently I've been reflecting on the past two years raising my daughter and I've come to a conclusion: this motherhood thing is not easy. Especially, if you are like me and are a little...

Reading With Your 3 and Under Child

For the past 20 years or so, I have been telling people what their kids should be reading. I was a school librarian for 15 years and before that, I worked at various book...
Top 10 Teacher Appreciation Gifts | Columbia SC Moms Blog

Top 10 Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas

Many people believe that a teacher's job is easy. Some may think that a teacher's day looks a little bit like this... Get to work at 8 a.m.; have fun with children all day -...

10 Things You May Not Know About Your Child’s School Library

For those of us who have children under the age of 5, we are well aware of the services provided to us by the public library - story time, special events, family programming, the...