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Professional Development

NAA publishes fresh, new content every week covering a wide variety of topics related to the field of aftershool. In addition, NAA offers a variety of opportunities for virtual professional development (PD) through meaningful content, conversations and connections. Click here to see full descriptions of virtual PD offerings.

Finding Their Voice: Why Kids Should Journal

This is a photo of me, today, on my 47th birthday, holding my very first journal—written when I was 10 years old. My fifth grade teacher asked us to buy a notebook that inspired us and, every few days, she gave us a topic to write about.

I noticed two very important things as I reread my youthful scribblings:

1. Some topics were intentionally less emotionally charged than others.
2. I am the same person today as I was 37 years ago ... fundamentally.

Being asked at such a young age to process my thoughts and feelings about any number of things led to a lifetime of journaling and a stack of handwritten pages of my experiences, good and bad. I sometimes choose a journal randomly, flip open to whatever page my fingers dig into and read.

I think it's concerning that young people are taking less time to think through and consider feelings than those of us who were raised without the fast processes afforded by digital devices and social media. Children of all ages need to be asked what they think and how they feel about things that matter to them now, and things that will mean more than they realize later.

When kids author WRiTE BRAiN BOOKS, they're in a conversation with their own creativity, as well as the creativity of those they're collaborating with. This forces thoughtful and slow processing, which children need to develop in order to learn to trust themselves.

Click here for an ongoing program we call the WRiTE BRAiN Journal Jam! Download it, print it and get your students' stories on pages they'll cherish throughout their lifetime, whether they know it now or not.

Written by Meredith Scott Lynn, Founder and CEO of WRiTE BRAiN BOOKS.