News Bits: Reading aloud, the power of reading, inspiring students, helping neighbors
Lately the world seems to suck more each day. Here are a few nice things I’ve found from last week.
Crossing Divides: Why I read aloud to strangers -Janine and her husband read aloud to each other but here’s a group of people who read to each other but who are strangers. Well at first, they’re strangers but most appear to build relationships as they read to each other and then discuss the stories.
According to The Reader – a charity coordinating shared reading across the UK and beyond – reading aloud can change lives by improving well-being, reducing social isolation and building stronger communities.
It works with children in care, prisoners, people recovering from substance misuse, living with dementia or mental health issues. And it says studies undertaken with the University of Liverpool point to “statistically significant” improvements in the mental health of depressed patients who attended shared reading groups for a year.
Laura Prime, who discovered The Reader through a mental health recovery college in Crewe, says: “Everything was medical – “managing this, managing that” – when I really couldn’t manage anything. Now I often tell people that I read myself better.”
Interested? Here’s the link (also in the article) to sign up. – Read with Audrey
How stories shape our minds – This is a 4:30 minute video about how reading can change our views.
Stories are just stories, right? Not really. They are also incredibly powerful – and can both reduce prejudice, and help persuade. Research suggests that transportation (when a reader loses themselves in the story world) and identification (where a reader takes on the perspective and identity of a story character) may be related to the ability to empathize with others.
Pilot helps youths take to the skies, find careers in aviation – Decades ago, Guy Stallworth wanted to fly.
“I didn’t know which way to go or how I would become a pilot,” said Stallworth, now 54 years old. “I wish I had had someone who kind of looked like me or who lived in my neighborhood who could come up and say, ‘Hey, you want to be a pilot — this is what you need to do.’” Fortunately, Stallworth was driven enough to not only become a pilot, but also to help start an annual Dream Flight to inspire under-represented children and teens as part of an Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals aviation summer camp. Students compete for spots at the camp based on GPA and an essay.
His program is now in its twentieth year and he recently flew with First Officer Jerome Wellons who was an early participant in the program and who is now a Delta pilot.
Farmers save a neighbor’s harvest when cancer sidelines him – This reminds me of stories about 19th century barn raisings and harvests when everybody pitched in.
When stage 4 cancer stood in the way of farmer Larry Yockey reaping his wheat harvest for the first time in 50 years, dozens of his fellow farmers stepped up to save his crop. After he shared his concern with neighbors, they told him not to worry about it, and he assumed they were organizing some help. But last weekend, dozens of vehicles pulled up to his farm, along with farmers ready run the machines and work the fields.
Working together, they completed three weeks’ worth of harvesting in about eight hours.