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Henry was able to tell his daughter to believe in herself through Storytime
When Henry came to Storytime he was full of excitement and said he already knew the book he wanted to make for his daughter Alana. It had been forming in his head for some time, he said he wanted his daughter to know that she could become anything she had a passion to be. He said that Alana had pointed to a plane in the sky one day and said she would never be able to fly a plane. That’s where the story started he said, she needed to know that she could be whoever she wanted to be.
We asked what he needed to help him create his story and he requested printed pictures of women in different jobs including crane operators, dump truck drivers, astronauts, pilots, high-rise window cleaners and more. Henry painted traced outlines from these pictures and wrote the story. He also painted a silhouette of a man and girl pointing to a book with the girl saying “Daddy, Daddy could I do that?” and the man saying “Yes my girl you can do that.”
Henry had been struggling to maintain contact with Alana who had been in care for some time and the pandemic was making it even more difficult for him to reestablish their relationship. But he was hoping she would love his book and know that he was thinking of her, even if they couldn’t see each other.
Because of lockdowns across the state, it took some time for the story to make it to Alana but one day Henry received the happy news he had been waiting for. The book had made it to her and she was now living with her mother. Alana and mum had read the story together and Henry was told that she absolutely loved it and was smiling the whole time they were reading. Her mother also mentioned that it was nice of Henry to make the book for Alana and that it must have taken him some time to create.
Storytime helps parents in custody channel their emotions into something productive and special for their children. During COVID, Storytime has not only kept families who are already connected together but has also been wonderful at opening up communication in families that have fallen out of touch. It is helping children talk to their parent through the books and given the parents and children a shared interest to discuss. Parents in custody have also improved their literacy skills throughout the process of making or reading a story and children are reaping the benefits of regular reading time.
Henry is already planning the next story he’s going to create for Alana and is so proud that he’s taken the first steps in forging a positive relationship with her.
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