The Reading Professor

Presenter Information

Shannon Tovey

Document Type



Nearly half of U.S. children have faced at least one social or family-related trauma. These Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) have the potential for affecting physical and mental health, along with learning, and the effects often can be long-term and pervasive. The risks of these effects occurring, however, can be mitigated through the promotion of resilience strategies by parents, the broader community, and the children themselves. Teachers can help by teaching these strategies using children's literature. In personalizing these abstract principles, in showing rather than telling, and through the empathy that we develop for the story characters and others like them, stories offer gentle but powerful lessons that help children build resilience strategies. Teachers can draw on new and variations of tried-and-true reading activities to not only improve comprehension skills but also to foster the development of resilience strategies in their students.