Are Stories The Solution for Scotland’s Children?

How can we make Scotland the best place in the world to bring up children?

There’s been a lively debate about this question in the build up to the lunch of the National Parenting Strategy at the Parenting Across Scotland conference in Edinburgh tomorrow. You can follow the conversation on twitter by following #PAS12 or @scotparents. Follow the conference live blog here.

Recently I’ve been working with Edinburgh based television producer Martin Fisher (Visible Ink Television) so I asked him what he thought would make Scotland the best place to bring up children.  His answer wasn’t better green spaces or improved child care, instead it was something our library is full of – stories!

This is what he said:

Stories are the glue that holds communities together.

Scotland is very aware of its own cultural identity good or bad and story is the wisdom handed down from generation to generation.

Stories give children a sense of belonging, hope, boundaries and experience.

We need to use relevant ways to retell our stories through modern media.

What do you think?

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About auntyemily

Screenwriter (CBeebies), science communicator, storyteller, author, podcaster and poet. @auntyemily on twitter (:
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6 Responses to Are Stories The Solution for Scotland’s Children?

  1. Lari Don says:

    Lovely first post (which I’ve already tried to comment on, but I think my comment was eaten by facebook…)
    Anyway – I agree completely that stories are vital for children, and would add two other reasons: children need to be confident around stories so that they can imagine their own future, and children need to meet and care about fictional characters so that they can empathise with other people. Stories are vital. So are libraries!

  2. Amanda says:

    Agree stories are the key, it’s how we sort of role play the world to each other, especially our children. How we connect, how we make sense of the world. Love that Martin said ‘holds communities together’.

    But I do worry that storytelling without the use of media is becoming extinct. To have a story told to you from memory where you are looking straight into the storytellers eyes has to be the best way. We need to allow space for a person to interpretate for themselves, to imagine freely.

    I think an essential part of all teaching is storytelling. Could libraries be doing more to assist teachers/parents the importance of storytelling without the aid of media or even books?

    • auntyemily says:

      Thanks Amanda. I agree – there’s something totally magical that happens during oral storytelling – plus there’s the personal connection and the opportunity for the storyteller to react to the audience. I think the more stories we share and the more ways we share them the more people we reach but lets not forget the oral storytelling tradition for the wonderful craft that it is. Good idea about teachers too – I’ll pass that on to the Library. The good news is they’ve got an oral storytelling event on this Saturday – see the Leith Library Facebook page (www.facebook.com/leithlibrary) for details (:

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