Wednesday, August 24, 2011

25 years of "Bibliotherapy"

Guest blog by Louise Matthews
Director, The Lion and Lamb Peace Arts Center of Bluffton University

I have always enjoyed children’s books, and even after my children were grown, I would visit the children’s sections of libraries and book stores. I didn’t want to miss any good books coming out for kids. When others would mention the good novels they were reading, I would mention the children’s books that I had recently discovered. It seems I never outgrew my love for picture books!

As director of The Lion and Lamb Peace Arts Center of Bluffton University, I am thrilled that my JOB includes reading and incorporating picture books into programs for audiences of all ages.

We are celebrating The Lion and Lamb’s
25th year of promoting peace.

Our collection at the center is constantly growing and currently includes more than 3,000 books that reflect peace and related themes of kindness and respect, cultural understanding, appreciating diversity, finding inner peace, care for environment, social issues, etc. The messages and application found in these books written for children are relevant for all of us.

I recently learned the word “bibliotherapy” which refers to the use of books and literature to address issues. This aptly describes an aspect of my work here at the center as I choose books to read during programs that lay a foundation for discussion and interaction on various topics. Though it is hard to limit my list of favorite books, the following titles are high on my list for programming:
  • bullying, Hey Little Ant by Phillip & Hannah Hoose
  • appreciating diversity, People by Peter Spiers
  • giving second chances, Chance to Shine by Steve Seskin and Allen Shamblin
  • empathy, Don’t Laugh at Me by Steve Seskin and Allen Shamblin
  • understanding grief and loss, Tear Soup by Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen
  • value of everyone in spite of disabilities, Puppies for Sale by Dan Clark
For additional titles, visit the Directors Choice web page.

Visual art is another resource available here at The Lion and Lamb that reflects various themes of peace. We are in the process of creating a series of short video clips highlighting some of the artwork and sculptures found in the center and in the outdoor peace garden.

We will celebrate The Lion and Lamb’s 25th year of promoting peace during the 2011-12 school year.

Events scheduled include open house receptions on Sept. 21, World Peace Day, and Oct. 1 during Homecoming. Celebration of Peace: A Bridge Between Us, a children’s conference, is scheduled for Oct 21-22. On April 3, author Jane Kurtz will present the Forum address and several other sessions with children and students. The year will conclude with a 25th birthday party for The Lion and Lamb on May 5, 2012.

With the exception of the children's conference, these events are all free and open to the public. Come and celebrate with us. Or feel free to stop by The Lion and Lamb Peace Arts Center. Visitors are always welcome.


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