Reading Reinforcing Relationships
Books offer us a powerful duality. On one hand, they distance us from our world by showing us new ones. Magical adventures in far-off lands provide escapism for those who lean in. On the other hand, they connect us. As characters face obstacles and experience complex emotions, we learn to better recognize, accept, and communicate our own. We grow our emotional intelligence and build stronger bonds, connecting us to ourselves and others.
The unifying magic of reading – a teacher’s experience
You may have seen this to be true through your young readers, but we see books building powerful connections in classrooms, homes, and reading corners across the globe. Recently, we’ve seen it in a fifth-grade classroom in Delhi.
Ms. Pinki Rana has proudly taught here for 13 years. She finds great fulfillment in her work as it enables her “to make a change in the lives of children who are full of talents but face challenges at home due to poverty and low literacy levels of parents.”
Through the Read to Kids program, she was introduced to our vibrant reading app, BookSmart. Hundreds of colorful and relevant stories became the inspiration for interactive classroom role-plays and lessons. Through reading about different worlds with her students, she’s closer than ever to theirs.
She feels happy to share that “Storytelling sessions have helped in strengthening my bonding with children. Now all my students have so much faith in me that they share their personal problems as well.” What could have sparked this change that elevated a teacher to a trusted confidante and strengthened the student-teacher bond?
Bonding through books
Reading promotes emotional intelligence, allowing children to name their experiences and convey their needs and emotions more effectively. This paired with the innate bonding resulting from reading together is the perfect recipe for improved relationships.
The process of reading together and the skills obtained in doing so allow relationships to flourish. With the right stories, the content itself can even strengthen these vital bonds.
12-year-old Joni Kumari attends digital night school in India, as many young girls do. The opportunity cost of allowing children to partake in daytime classes and abstain from chores is a luxury many under-resourced households cannot afford. So instead, many children in India learn by night.
Joni uses our digital reading app BookSmart to enjoy stories she loves. Her favorite is called बंटी गया दादी से मिलने which means Bunti Went to Visit Grandmother. When asked why she reflects on how it reminds her of a special bond in her life. “Any story related to grandparents is my favorite,” she explains, “as I love to visit my maternal grandparents during festivals.”
Whether it’s the practice of reading, the skills it develops, or the parallels that make us feel close to the content, its positive effects on relationships are evident across India and the world.
You can help readers strengthen critical bonds through reading
When you give a child the opportunity to read, you’re giving them access to a toolbox of skills that will help them tap into their potential. As emotionally intelligent humans, young readers will better understand and communicate emotions, leading to healthier relationships at home, in school, and throughout their lives.
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