The Helpers: Healing With Bibliotherapy, a Virtual Conference About Helping Children

Author Susan Bernardo and illustrator Courtenay Fletcher performed readings of their books, “Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs” and “The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm,” and gave an in-depth lecture about bibliotherapy and creativity and how to guide children to develop emotional intelligence.

The virtual workshop, webcast to more than 1,150 child care professionals, was sponsored by Voices for Children of San Antonio and ChildCareGroup of Dallas.

In their opening remarks, state Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, and state Rep, Ina Minjares, D-San Antonio, emphasized how important and how difficult child care is during the pandemic.

“Your service to children is not unnoticed,” said Minjares.

Together we can weather the storm

“Many of you may have been exposed to COVID, many of you may have lost loved ones, many of you may have employees that have been exposed as well and I want to take this opportunity to know that we will continue being your voices at the capitol,” she said.

“As child care providers, as parents, you all are doing your best during this very difficult time. You're thinking about your employees, you're thinking about those families you serve and you're worried about the coronavirus. So, I really want to empathize with you because you're filling such an important gap for essential workers throughout our economy and you at the same time are trying to keep your businesses afloat during a recession,” Anchia said.

Watch their introduction at this link:

Bernardo and Fletcher explained how their books can be used for “bibliotherapy,” to help children deal with emotional stress.

About Bibliotherapy

“All of them have themes that are healing and inspiring to children," said Bernardo.

"Right now there are so many challenges, as the speakers have mentioned, there are so many challenges we're going through in our normal daily life but now that we have this pandemic we're impacted by the shelter in place, we can't be with the people that we love. There are people who are dealing with financial struggles and displacement and the social isolation, not being able to hug the people we love. It's really taking a toll not only as adults but the children,” said Bernardo.

Jump to this link to watch the pair read their book “Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs”:

Watercolors and Crayons

Bernardo and Fletcher engaged the audience in a hands-on art project using watercolors and crayons.

Jump to this place in the video to watch the instructions:

After a short break, they read their book “The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm,” which you can watch by jumping to this spot in the video:

To find out how bibliotherapy works and how  books do that, jump to this spot in the video:

Watch the videos on YouTube at the Voices for Children San Antonio: Social Emotional Learning for Child Care Providers playlist: