Thanksgiving Is the Best Time to Boost Children’s Social Emotional Learning Abilities – Book Showcase
Two new books by former school teacher Peggy D. Sideratos help parents, grandparents and teachers teach SEL skills through storytelling.
Thanksgiving can provide an unprecedented opportunity for parents, grandparents, and teachers to build emotional closeness with children they care about through sharing stories.
“The Light Giver: and Other Stories to Raise Emotionally Healthy Children” and “The Light Giver Stories Workbook” covers
Boosting children’s social educational learning abilities (SEL) is especially important today, notes former school teacher Peggy D. Sideratos. “We live in a world where kids and teens are dealing with depression, anxiety, cutting, eating disorders, bullying, school shootings and suicide rates at an alarming level. The brokenness is escalating. Our children are hurting and we have to do something about it,” Sideratos says.
Her new books, The Light Giver: and Other Stories to Raise Emotionally Healthy Children and The Light Giver Stories Workbook, are her attempt to address these problems.
“I decided to create a collection of stories and lessons to address a volume of social-emotional topics for children that would be easy for anyone to use and wouldn’t require a huge investment of time,” she says.
In an interview, she talks about:
- Why storytelling is so effective in communicating with children and ways Thanksgiving can be a natural opportunity for sharing stories
- What parents can do if they want to see their children do better academically and socially and ways they can protect them from future addiction, unemployment, and divorces
- Why children want to hear their parents’ and grandparents’ stories
- Questions that can get everyone at the table talking as never before
Praise for The Light Giver Stories
“This book is beautiful! I enjoyed each of the illustrations, but the messages are the most important parts of the book. It can be used as read-aloud to 3rd and 4th graders, and they certainly would be intrigued by each of the stories. I particularly like the workbook with its tangible activities to engage students so they capture the true message of the story. I think this book would be of much interest in schools where character education is a strong focus.” — Judith Nuss, social and emotional learning specialist, CASEL, Rutgers University Instructor, (SECD) certification program
“The Light Giver encourages positive, social-emotional behavior through a variety of stories. These tender and touching stories include characters that our young and adolescent students can relate to in today’s world. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Peggy’s stories and highly recommend its use in our schools as part of a character education program.” — Deborah Giannuzzi, former supervisor of curriculum and instruction, retired principal, adjunct professor and member of the Little Egg Harbor Board of Education in New Jersey
About the Author
Peggy D. Sideratos spent 14 years teaching kindergarten through grade 7 at a parochial school in Brooklyn and PS/IS 180 in Brooklyn. During her years of teaching, she organized several food, clothing and toy drives for the homeless and took her students on many trips to senior citizen homes and centers to instill in them the value of community service. She is an active member of the Dafnonas Society, a not-for-profit organization that raises money for charities and individuals who need help. She has served as their youth coordinator for the past six years and has worked with the children to donate thousands of dollars to the Make a Wish Foundation, St Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Shriners Hospital for Children, and the Ronald McDonald House. A portion of book sales will be donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
*Photos courtesy of Peggy D. Sideratos