Parents gathered over juice and snacks at a north Toronto family centre to read picture books and discuss ways to help children connect with their emotions.

In a recent, Read With Me workshop, grandparents, parents and caregivers are introduced to both classic and new children’s picture books.

Books promote empathy for others.  I designed this emotional literacy workshop to help adult participants learn ways to engage children with stories; identify the picture book characters’ emotions along with their own and also, develop ways to share their personal stories and challenges with the children in their lives.

In the Information Age, we’re inundated with the distractions of technology. We also have the obligations and responsibilities of work; school; family and friends.

When we’re busy, there’s little time for self-reflection. But books can help. Books can provide both quiet solace and opportunities to engage and connect.

My hope is that in the Read With Me workshop, parents, grandparents and caregivers will find time, amidst the demanding whorl of life’s responsibilities to help children understand their emotions; be more self-aware and compassionate toward others.

Juice and snacks donated by François No Frills. Groundwood Books generously donated A Family Is A Family Is A Family written by Sara O’Leary. Illustrations by Qin Leng; Uncle Holland, words by Jon Arno Lawson and illustrations by Natalie Nelson; Town Is By The Sea. Text by Joanne Schwartz. Illustrations by Sydney Smith.  The Canadian Children’s Book Centre also donated books and magazines. Every workshop participant received Loris Lesynski’s Boy Soup plus Children’s Book News and Best Books for Kids & Teens 2017.

 

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