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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Empowering children during COVID-19 through literature

Reading a relevant book to a child can help them cope with the stress of COVID-19

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Samantha Bonney
Samantha Bonneyhttps://www.gatfoundation.org.au/
Sam Bonney is the founder of the Give-A-Textbook (GAT) Foundation which collects and donates books from Australia to the Philippines in order to help those that do not have access to sufficient academic literature. GAT Foundation repurposes used and new books to create social impact and support others in furthering their education, hence empowering the wider community. By rehoming books, we divert thousands from landfills by recycling them efficiently.

With astounding drive and determination, many children’s books have been quickly published in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, teaching children about coronavirus and encouraging them to protect themselves and others.

In the past, children’s literature has a long history of exploring tough topics, with original fairy tales portraying frightful imagery to teach children how to behave. On the other hand, Jayneen Sanders is an experienced author and active advocate for body safety, gender equality and respectful relationship education. One of her children’s books titled resilience, encourages resilience, persistence, and to help children bounce back from challenges and adversity.

More recently, picture books have dealt with issues including wars, bushfires, indigenous cultures and death. But this wave of coronavirus related children books is unique, being produced during a crisis rather than in its aftermath. With very little information about COVID-19 aimed at children, Professor Anna Ralph who is a practising infectious diseases specialist at Royal Darwin Hospital and also a mother to a six-year-old, wrote her first children’s book to empower children during the pandemic. This book is called The Magic Cure, and can easily be read to children online

Book title: The Magic Cure | Photo Credit: ResearchGate

Tips to help support children during COVID-19

Parents, family members, school staff, and other trusted adults can play an important role in easing children’s concerns and uncertainties about the virus, here are some simple tips:
1. Encourage and practise good hygiene, sing a song while washing hands.
2. Be careful with screen time, seeing inappropriate news can make create worry and anxiety
3. Talk about each other’s feelings, listen and reassure they are safe and protected.
4. Be aware and don’t panic, don’t pass on fear.
5. Enjoy everyday moments, focus on now and things that are in your control.

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