By Marilu Isabelle.
March is in full bloom and signals the arrival of two celebrations to light our creative sparks - World Book Day and U.S. Sing with Your Child month.
The positive effects of reading (or listening to stories) and singing have been well documented, with both psychological and physiological benefits. In honour of these March celebrations, we shine a light on the hard work UK charitable organisations are doing to provide access to musical opportunities and a joy of reading to children who may be harder to reach because of their circumstances.
This charity “recruits and trains volunteers to go into some of the most disadvantaged areas of London to help introduce children from ages 0-11 to the pleasure of reading and inspire them with it.” Volunteers visit homes reading with children and their families. Since the introduction of the first lockdown they have been providing weekly e-visits.
Fairbeats work with refugees, asylum seekers, newly arrived migrants and their families. They “bring people together through music-making and other artistic activities in a way that is creative, relaxed, dynamic and fun.”
This national charity train and support volunteers to work in early years, primary and secondary school settings to help children become ‘readers.’ They also equip adults and young people e.g. parents, grandparents, older siblings to ‘do better’ reading at home with their children.
This national charity invests in music projects to support children and young people aged 0-25, working in particular with “those who don’t get to make music because of who they are, where they live, or what they’re going through.”
Bag Books provide multi-sensory books and storytelling for people with severe or profound and multiple learning disabilities. Stories are told through voice and emotion rather than words and pictures.
Nordoff Robbins is the UK’s largest music therapy charity, trained therapists use music to “enrich the lives of people with life-limiting illness, disabilities or feelings of isolation.”
The love of books and music can change lives; from the wonder-years through to the yonder-years, keep exploring and learning as you grow!