It’s Friday morning, and at Lajee Center we start to hear sweet voices coming up from the stairs of the building. In the next moment, the center is filled with about fifteen excited children arriving for storytelling. After fumbling through the many titles in the library, the group reaches a consensus: today, from a pop-up book, they chose to hear the adventures of Snow White. The children, who are from 6 to 10 years old, pay close attention to the story read by Flávia, one of the volunteers at the center. With the support of the organization’s library coordinator, Kifah, who translates the details of the fable into Arabic, the children listen to the fairy tale in English, trying to repeat and memorize some of the words. The ones familiar with the story also help with the interpretation, taking advantage of the moment to pour to their friends all the words they’ve already learned. In a tale about an evil witch who sends out a woodsman to kill an innocent lady and even tries to perform the stunt herself, the children’s favorite part is, of course, when Prince Charming saves Snow White. After the storytelling, the children play games at the Library or the Computer Lab, where they continue talking about what they have learned.
Storytelling is one of the richest activities to the young minds. Reading for children is a very important development activity, and has long lasting positive effects. It helps them improve their creativity, inspires their imagination, encourages their passion for education and creates a connection among the children of the camp, strengthening the bonds of the community. This pleasant moment shared by the kids at Lajee Center is an opportunity to share important messages and for them to learn about good qualities, such as hope, honesty, courage and strength, by means of an entertaining and fun activity. They can project their troubles into the story and learn new ways to solve them. Storytelling can also impact the children’s lives by making them more attentive, willing to listen and understand, which helps them in the learning process of different subjects in school. Once they discuss the stories they’ve learned, they become more communicative, which shows them that their voices can be heard. They become more aware about their individuality, and more conscious about themselves. Through this safe environment offered by Lajee Center, they can experience their childhood with a healthy learning stimulus.