”Stories are one of the most powerful springboards into imagination and into another’s experiences. Through story we change. We change our ideas, our minds, our cultures, our worlds.”
Where were you when you first experienced the joy of storytelling? Maybe it was sitting on your mom, dad, or a grandparent’s lap while they read a book to you. Or perhaps it was at your local library, where a spirited adult brought a storybook to life.
Through books, children learn about themselves and the world around them. They can meet a blue horse. Dine with a very hungry caterpillar. Find a lost duckling. Ride on a musical bus. Stories nurture dreams, and teach children of all ages to believe in magic.
Reading with children also helps get them ready for school. They learn more words, and pay attention longer. Teachers have found that storytelling improves students’ creativity and listening skills.
With Storybox Tales, educator Allison Caplan delivers the power of storytelling right to your location. Her interactive monthly program introduces young children to the joys of storytelling – and promotes the skills they must master before they can learn to read.
A Typical Hour at Storybox Tales
Storybox Tales is a dynamic program that fosters the development of early literacy skills such as vocabulary building, phonological awareness, and letter and number knowledge – all while encouraging a lifelong love of reading.
During each 60-minute class, children explore stories through a variety of activities designed to promote language and listening skills, expand their imaginations, and arouse their curiosity about the outside world. In addition to the telling of the story, kids participate in rhymes, songs, and movement, including finger plays and larger motor activities.
Each month’s program is thematically matched to the children’s developmental levels and attention spans. Seasons, holidays, and community are used to reinforce concepts. Click over to the Happenings page for more information.
Storytelling in the Digital Age
“There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.” Ursula K. LeGuin
Storytellers have been holding the short attention spans of children for centuries.
Every culture has its myths, fables, and legends, and it is through the oral tradition of storytelling that this rich history has been passed from generation to generation.
Storytelling and reading aloud are also fundamental tools for enhancing literacy and language development. In a study of children in pre-k through 2nd grade conducted by Storytelling Arts, Inc. (SAI), an overwhelming majority of teachers credited the SAI program with improving students’ verbal and comprehension skills.
Yet, as technology has replaced human interaction, storytelling has taken a back seat to touch screens. And there is growing evidence that, when it comes to reading, the advance of technology is putting young children at a disadvantage.
- According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, children in the U.S. ages eight to 18 spend on average 7.5 hours a day with media and technology screens, including television, gaming consoles, computers, tablet devices, and smartphones. Children who use a lot of electronic media are likely to read fewer books and have lower grades in school.
- A study by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop found that despite the increasing popularity of basic and “enhanced” e-books, many of these multimedia tools are distracting young readers from the story and affecting the amount of detail children recall.
There is no doubt that reading print books and reading aloud enhance learning and promote a love of reading. The National Literacy Trust conducted a study that concluded that those who read printed texts were almost twice as likely to have above-average reading skills as those who read on screens every day. Reading aloud in the early years exposes children to words and ideas not often found during screen time or day-to-day conversations.
When you read a book to children, you transport them to many wonderful places. To find out where Storybox Tales is venturing to this month – and how your children can join the fun – contact Ms. Alli here or visit the Happenings page.