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Theory of change

Theory of change


Storybook reading and storytelling benefit children  both cognitively and emotionally.  Cognitively, story book reading, and storytelling  make  a critical contribution to developing literacy through building vocabulary  and  reading for meaning  (Hart &  Risley,  2003).  A robust vocabulary improves all areas of communication — listening, speaking, reading and writing.  

  • Vocabulary growth is directly related to school achievement  even in subjects not based on written text  
  • The size of a child’s vocabulary at the start of school predicts the ability to learn to read  
  • Vocabulary helps children to think,  problem solve  and learn about the world  
  • Expanding a child’s knowledge of words provides unlimited access to new information (JCFS Chicago, Hart &  Risley, 2003) 

Children in low-income families, with uneducated parents,  in a  home  with  more than 25  books,  are more likely to gain two more years of schooling than children in homes with no books. (Evans, Kelly, Sikora &  Treiman, 2010). Such homes are equipped with  books, and  adults willing to  demonstrate  the value of written text, reading to children regularly, listening to, telling and making up stories. A literary cultured home doesn’t need adults to be literate. 

Emotionally, storybook reading and storytelling in a safe, familial  environment  promotes  family cohesion and intimacy, boosting children’s self-esteem and contributing to them becoming confident students  (Hoyne  & Egan,  2019).  Deep discussion of the texts and  expressing  emotional reactions to the turns of the story,  develops  children’s empathy  and ability to  self-regulate  (Aram & Shapira, 2012).  Story books expose children to social situations, introducing moral dilemmas, relationships,  conflicts  and problem solving through characters (Fine, Aram & Ziv, 2011).  Social-emotional skills at an early age predict positive adult outcomes include good mental health, low chance of substance abuse and higher chance of employment. (Mahasneh,  Raomanowki  &  Dajani, 2017).