As the 200,000th Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library book is delivered to Tallaght children, we hear how stories connect us, and these connections can help children to manage their emotions.
Childhood Development Initiative (CDI) announced in a Press Release today that this investment in children’s futures will be celebrated at a conference on the theme of “Being With,” a simple concept central to babies and young children understanding and managing their emotions.
The event explores the relational aspect of reading with children and the importance of ‘being with’
- How Stories Connect Children and Parent/Carers
- Relational approaches
- Sensory-emotional aspects of reading and emotional regulation.
- Celebrates the delivery of the 200,000th book through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Dr Ciara McCarthy, Senior Clinical Psychologist with the HSE, says, “Relationships between Babies and their Parents/ Caregivers are the most important ingredient for Child Development. Back and forth interactions with a sensitive Caregiver involving touch, tone of voice, facial expressions, eye contact, crying, singing and babbling, create the essential building blocks”. Ciara highlighted daily joint activities like exploring a book together provide wonderful opportunities for “being with” moments that support the child to embody a felt sense of being safe, being seen, being understood and being loved.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting programme launched in Ireland by the Childhood Development Initiative in 2019. This programme provides a free book each month for every child registered in Dublin 24, from birth to five years, at no cost to parents. The significance of reading books from birth is highlighted by Dr Marion Gillooly, Executive Director, The Dollywood Foundation UK. Marion says, “When a parent reads with their baby, they are in the moment, giving their full attention, and showing interest not only in the book but in the baby, and the baby starts to associate reading with a sense of being cared for and loved”.
Reading to your child goes beyond the words on a page. Dr Sinéad McNally from Dublin City University emphasised this, “When we read with babies and young children, we share attention around the story and give children a fantastic opportunity to hear new words and learn more about the world. Building young children’s early vocabulary in this way is wonderful for supporting children when they start to read at an older age. But reading together also provides a special shared space in busy lives that is both warm and nurturing for young children, two aspects of caring for children which are so important for early development”.
Dr Hester O’Connor, Clinical Psychologist, focused on professionals working with babies, young children and families and how they can stay present when working with parents struggling to connect with their babies and young children emotionally. “Working with babies and young families can be very emotive, and we need to be aware of our responses and how we may communicate that to parents.”
The Childhood Development Initiative would like to extend special thanks to all our supporters and funders since our launch of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in 2019 – An Post, Amazon Web Services, ESB Energy for Generation, Dublin Bus, Ireland Funds Flagship, CHIS – Adelaide, Stocker Foundation (CAFA), HSE Lottery, The Rotary Club Dublin, Aldi, Shamrock Rovers, and all of our local community organisations, services and families. Penguin Random House UK is the exclusive publisher for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library across the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
Conference: ‘Being With’ – The Essence of Emotional Regulation.
Stories create connections which help children to manage their emotions.
Date: Tuesday 18th October 2022, 9.30 am-1 pm
Location: Institute of Population Health, Russell Building, Tallaght Cross, Tallaght, Dublin 24.
Welcome and Introductions
Chair, Elizabeth Nixon, TCD
An experiential session to bring to life Maya Angelou’s quote; ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’
Dr Hester O’Connor, Clinical Psychologist, Lead Psychosocial Supports
Being With & Staying With: Exploring the felt experience of I’m here; I’m here, I’m here.
Dr Ciara McCarthy, Senior Clinical Psychologist, Primary Care
Questions & reflections
Tea / Coffee break & networking
Reading with Babies and Young Children – A Special Context for Early Child Development and Learning.
Dr Sinéad McNally, Dublin City University
Books, Babies, and Bonding – The Story of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Dr Marion Gillooly, Executive Director, The Dollywood Foundation UK
Questions & reflections
Closing Remarks followed by lunch
Who is it for:
Any Professionals working with children/babies;
Midwives, Nurses, Childcare Professionals, Public Health Nurses, Social Workers, Managers and practitioners in ELC services, Speech and Language Therapists, Academics, and Researchers.
#bondingwithbabyCDI; #ImaginationLibraryIreland #AWSInCommunities