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Feb 28, 2022

Children’s Mental Health Week – “Growing together”

NABU: Children’s Mental Health Week – “Growing together”

The week of 7th of February, we celebrated Children’s Mental Health week.

The theme for this year was “Growing Together”, one that deeply resonates with NABU’s mission.

A child’s ability to read and write, to develop basic cognitive skills which also links to the growth of their core personalities, their emotional intelligence and social skills and what we are also currently collectively experiencing today with all that is happening around the black lives matter movement and the asian hate crimes – the relationship with their own cultures is so pivotal to develop healthy and positive relationships with other cultures.

Children’s books are the bricks that are needed to help build the bridge into the future and create strong, healthy and caring citizens of the world.

Research has shown that ‘Children who are the most engaged with literacy are three times more likely to have higher levels of mental wellbeing than children who are the least engaged’ [1]. Without books children are robbed of the opportunity to show up in this world as contributors and participate in their authentic self in this rapidly changing environment. 

There are many ways a child can gain a build and gain confidence with books! Through a story book, children can learn how to recognise what is happening inside them as they use the power of empathy with the characters. This builds confidence through discovering and gaining perspective in different contexts and situations ! Books also play a healing role by creating a safe space for children who experience trauma in their early environment, life challenges and difficulties. Through a book, they can explore their emotions and vulnerability and learn how to self regulate their emotions.

In NABU culturally relevant story books and learning about their own culture and different cultures, children learn to connect and better understand themselves, people around them and gain greater understanding of their sense of belonging. They become more aware of the richness and vastness of their own culture which opens their eyes to other cultures and their potential in the world.

Mother tongue and native-language instruction is the most cost-effective intervention in early-grade literacy and helps children reap the benefits of education. Our mission is to eradicate illiteracy by delivering mother tongue books into the hands of children all over the world! 

Share the gift of reading through one of our stories with a child in your life by Downloading the NABU app, or purchasing one of our beautiful books:

Uwera and Her Toys is a story showcasing the magic of a young child’s imagination. This level 2 Kinyarwanda book is perfect for early readers as it features consistent vocabulary and introduces children to a plot line with multiple characters and emotions, foundational to children achieving basic literacy skills.

Maliza is a story filled with the wonders of immersing ourselves in mother nature and our environment. This level 3 Kinyarwanda collection book is the perfect introduction to storybooks and includes larger vocabulary words, morals or lessons, multiple characters and is foundational to children achieving basic literacy skills. This level 3 Kinyarwanda collection book is the perfect introduction to independent reading and includes more complex content and multiple characters with thoughts, dialogue and feeling, foundational to children achieving basic literacy skills.

“I Love Being Me” co-authored by top model Jessica Michibata.

The story explores how racism and xenophobia affects Asian-American children. Inspired by the experiences of Jessica Michibata growing up, and now seeing her daughter grow up as Asian American. We hope that this book will help children who encounter racism to not feel alone!

[1] https://literacytrust.org.uk/research-services/research-reports/mental-wellbeing-reading-and-writing/

Kidd, D., & Castano, E. (2019). Reading Literary Fiction and Theory of Mind: Three Preregistered Replications and Extensions of Kidd and Castano (2013). Social Psychological and Personality Science, 10(4), 522–531. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550618775410

Vezzali, L., Stathi, S., Giovannini, D., Capozza, D., & Trifiletti, E. (2015). The greatest magic of Harry Potter: Reducing prejudice. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 45(2), 105-121.

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