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Monday, April 23, 2012

Children must be drenched in words | Karin Schimke, Cape Times

The final sentences in this article by a British writer in New Zealand:
Harness your imagination and fantasise a better world. Then change it. Find a child. Find a book. Read a story.
Before that strong conclusion, Schimke describes the value for children (and all of us) of reading, story-telling and fantasizing. It benefits creativity, vocabulary, literacy, social sklls, empathy and academic success. No surprises there, but I like how she describes them.

Schimke writes:
The reason is that their most powerful tool for absorbing, organising and retaining information about the world has been fed and nurtured: their imagination.
She quotes Malika Ndlovu, a writer, poet, story-teller and performance artist:
Creativity is required to solve problems, from the domestic and mundane – like having good conversations, knitting together a family, budgeting and single-parenting – to solving the world’s great problems.
And she quotes Thomas Gruber, director-general of the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation, from an article titled "How much fantasy does the future need?"
Only by means of fantasy can we conceive and conceptualise the future… and if fantasy means an increase in knowledge, if it is the power for adapting traditions to modern standards with an aim to creating new things, then we should foster children’s fantasy.
I consider myself creative. I enjoy reading fiction, but I don't read (or watch) much fantasy or science fiction--unless I go to Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars movies with my family. But perhaps I should! It's not too late to be a kid at heart and enhance my creativity.

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