Helping Young Children Cope Using Storybooks
by Shawn Bariana

April 20, 2021

“If you’re scared, that’s okay. Sometimes, I feel scared too,” Lauren Becker said to her pre-k class. “What could we do if a friend feels scared?”

Children have always needed to learn resiliency skills to navigate through life. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, awareness has been heightened on how changes could be affecting the younger children. Becker is a lead teacher for one of LVCC’s Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts classes located in Easton. Her class is reading books and having conversations to help them express their feelings.

Her lesson plans are a part of professional development that LVCC’s PA Pre-K Counts teachers received through the Penn State Extension. The training centered on becoming more effective in building resiliency in young children through characters in children’s books.

“We’re helping them to have the social-emotional dialogue, so they can learn and grow in all areas of their academic and developmental learning,” Becker explained. “We’re giving them a way to work through a difficult time.”

Based on a program through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension, the Read for Resilience training provided LVCC’s teachers with six children’s books with accompanying lesson guides to support children after experiencing a major stressor. To help children personally connect with the experiences of the characters in the books, the teachers would have meaningful conversations while engaging in guided activities. Along with in-class instruction for the children, LVCC’s teachers learned methods to guide families for using the storybooks and discussion at home.

During Week of the Young Child (April 12-16), the children read the following books in the Pre-K Counts classrooms:

The Invisible String by Patrice Karst
The use of descriptive words gives young readers the tools to handle separation, loss, and grief.

One of LVCC's PA Pre-K Counts classes decorated a large umbrella with unique raindrops to represent our diversity and inclusion after reading The Big Umbrella in English and Spanish.


The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates
This story acknowledges difference, promotes inclusiveness, and welcomes everyone under the umbrella—no matter how different.

Say Something by Peter H. Reynold
This empowering tale explores how one person can make a difference through actions, words and speaking up.

Saturday by Oge Mora
Everything seems to go wrong for the characters in this book, but they learn to look to the positive and cherish the time they have together.

After reading My Heart Fills with Happiness by Monique Gray Smith and Illustration by Julie Flett, LVCC's PA Pre-K Counts class at Avona Elementary School drew pictures of what makes them happy.


My Heart fills with Happiness by Monique Gray Smith
What makes you happy? This story reminds us to find true joy in life’s little moments.

How is Daniel Feeling? (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood) by Maggie Testa
Little learners have big emotions. Daniel Tiger helps children understand their feelings and how to express them.