Understanding and Empathy Through Children's Books
By: Reading Rockets (2010)

Reading Rockets helps parents and teachers address the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti through reading and books.

How can parents and educators talk with kids about natural disasters like the powerful earthquake that just devastated Haiti?

In the wake of September 11, education websites scrambled to come up with resources on how to calm fears, provide solace, and help children cope. With recent natural disasters, like the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia, the response has been more muted.

The reason for the difference is probably distance. The Haiti and tsunami disasters happened "over there," in countries that seem — to many U.S. students — far, far away as measured by miles and cultural differences.

Even so, the Reading Rockets staff wanted to do something to help parents and educators address the disaster, but what? We're not a news or international agency or counseling group, we're an organization about reading and books. And that's when we got our a-ha.

One of the best resources for discussing the natural disasters with kids may in fact be children's books.

Continue reading here http://www.readingrockets.org/article/35419

Tags: Haiti, children, disaster, empathy, kids, picture books

Views: 4

Replies to This Discussion

My 6 year old son watches the news with me sometimes. I don't usually make a point about discussion what has been reported unless he brings it up first but what's going on in Haiti is so big that it seems to require more discussion. We've talked some about earthquakes, how we can build better buildings to withstand many earthquakes, how the island of Haiti is very poor and doesn't have enough money to build strong buildings and how much help the country is going to need to recover and rebuild. He doesn't ask a lot of questions though and I think it's because of the "over there-ness" of it all. It seems like this would be a good time for all of us to learn more about the people of Haiti, their culture, beliefs and lifestyle. I only wish we had a better library system because I'd love to check out some of those books.

If anyone knows of any web sources that can help with these topics or other ideas they are using with their kids and family post them here.
Doctors Without Borders and Red Cross, yes, good sources.
I found this about atheist charity for Haiti:
http://www.atheistnexus.org/forum/topics/atheist-richard-dawkins-aids

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