Friday, April 26, 2019

Reading Heals Refugee Children

"Research reveals that the traumatic experiences of many refugees can affect their health in wide-ranging ways that can last a lifetime — social anxiety, depression, addiction, cardiovascular disease and more. Children and youth are most vulnerable. A mounting body of evidence demonstrates that repeated traumatic events early in life, if unbuffered by adults who can restore a child’s sense of calm, interfere with healthy brain development. This physiological response is known as “toxic stress.” But the damage is not irreparable if treated in time...

Rasha Al-Masry, who fled Syria in 2014, may be part of this shift in the community in Jordan where she now lives. Ms. Al-Masry, 30, is an “ambassador” for We Love Reading, a local organization that trains adults to read aloud to children in dedicated public spaces and provides books written specifically for the context they’re going to be read in, with messages and images that the children can relate to. “It’s through these stories that kids learn to deal with their challenges,” from gender inequality to migration, said Rana Dajani, the founder of We Love Reading." Please continue the article to learn more at the New York Times.