(from newsletter)

Developing a story invites children to a deeper exploration of their inner reality. The sharing of stories allows them to share a piece of that reality with others. Empathy stems from a willingness to truly hear and identify with another person’s perceptions, feelings and views. Stories help build empathy.

Developing a story allows the emergence of a child’s imagination to manifest itself, whether it’s a funny tale, a silly musing, a true experience, an episode of an admired action hero, or an adventure of a ladybug or an errant crocodile. From concept through finished storybook, children develop awareness that the endeavor is a complex process of both inner and outer communication involving multiple steps. The children in our pilots illustrated this time and time again. Here a child is deep in thought rapt in a solo pursuit to create a particular background just so. At another table three are huddled together collaborating on solving one child’s efforts to make a figure move up and down along a path. Elsewhere in the room a mentor is listening as a fourth-grader explains their story concept. Over and over again one hears “Oh, yeah”, “cool”, “look at this”, “aha”.

The Waveplace pilots aim to ‘spark’ the children’s engagement with their new XOs, providing them with skills necessary to delve deeper, gain confidence, and continuously expand upon what they have already learned. These tools combined with a new found confidence in their own abilities propels them toward greater exploration, an appreciation for the unexpected, and many more ‘aha’ moments yet to come. I for one am anxious to view the final story creations — I know I will be wowed.

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