How Storytelling Is Helping Children From Military Families

A charity is using books and storytelling to help children who may face challenges of having parents in the armed forces.

A charity is using books to help bring service children and families closer together.

'Reading Force' launches programmes in schools which have a high number of pupils from armed forces backgrounds, in order to help them adapt to the challenges they may face.

Colinton Primary School is one of the schools that's working with the charity as half of their pupils have parents in the military. 

Alison Baverstock is the founder of Reading Force and found that reading was something that her family could bond over.

"My husband was a soldier for 30 years. We were always moving to new places and reading gave us something to talk about."

Reading Forces

By using books and storytelling it can help improve communications and relationships.

The charity works with leading authors to help engage younger pupils.

Vivian French has written more than 270 books for children and was recently given an outstanding lifetime achievement award from the Scottish Book Trust.

She is working with the charity and understands the challenges forces children can face.

Reading Forces

"I've been to quite a lot of forces schools and I just think the whole idea is a fantastic project."    

The children are also given scrapbooks and are encouraged to fill them up with the rest of their family to foster closer bonds. 

Due to their parents being in the military, many of the children have to move schools several times. 

Logan is a pupil at Colinton Primary and says books can help make new friendships. 

Reading Force

"It helps me calm down and if someone else likes a book that you like then you can be friends."

Louise Hill is a Ministry of Defence Support Teacher and says some of the children don't want to talk about their feelings.  

"If they can just talk about something then they can build up that communication and we're hoping we can do that through stories." 

The charity has been using storytelling to bring forces families and children together for the past seven years.