Thanks to Jessi from the Chippewa Falls Public Library for this blog post!
Have you heard about the Pyramid Model? The Pyramid Model provides a visual way to think about intentionally supporting the mental health needs of young children as a matter of public health. Children who grow up in supportive, nurturing environments are more likely to be on track developmentally in other areas, be socially aware and competent, and do well in school.
In the same way that many libraries have been focusing on building awareness of early literacy, public health and early childhood agencies in Wisconsin have been focusing on building awareness of and providing training on the importance of supporting mental health from birth onwards, both to parents and caregivers and to other agencies that work with young children. Like …libraries!
Not surprisingly, supporting early literacy and social-emotional wellness can go hand in hand. Reading together already supports parent/child bonding, but parents can take things a step further by highlighting emotions in what they are reading. Stories are a great tool for helping children recognize, understand and manage their own emotions.
With support from the Children’s Legacy Luncheon Fund of the Eau Claire Community Foundation, MORE system libraries now have available to their patrons kits to help facilitate that social-emotional learning. The kits are called Power Packs and live at the Chippewa Falls Public Library. They come in a clear children’s backpack which contains 2-3 books, a toy/game/hands-on activity, a parent resource guide and feelings magnet sets that patrons may keep!
Available themes include: Everybody Needs a Friend, I’ve Got the Power (problem solving and making good choices), I Was So Mad! , I Can Do It! , I’m Not Scared!, My Many Moods , I Feel Good!, Growing Up is Hard Work and Sometimes I’m Sad.