One way to convey positive and spiritual messages to children in easy and understandable ways is through the art of storytelling.
With an eye toward reaching all children in the community who are sixth months of age and older, Epiphany Parish, Brick, is introducing a new biweekly program called “Story Time With Jackson.” The first gathering will be Jan. 16 and sessions will be held every other Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to noon.
According to Michele Evans, parish religious education assistant, each session will be led by parishioners Angela and Laura DiGiovanni, and will also include the interaction with “Jackson,” a nine-year-old Maltese mix certified therapy dog.
Jackson, who is a “gentle soul that loves to make others smile,” has gained experience since he was certified as a therapy dog more than two years ago. He has enjoyed interacting with and spreading joy to clients in mental health and adult day care facilities, hospitals and he’s even accompanied the DiGiovannis to St. Dominic School, Brick, where the mother-daughter duo hold a similar storytelling program for the second grade class.
“Jackson will be instrumental in helping to engage the children in conversation,” said Evans, noting that the books that will be used were all donated by Epiphany parishioners.
Evans hopes that children of the community and their families will avail themselves of the storytelling program, saying that the parish views the program as a way to reach out to the community and to give younger generations some added exposure to the parish.
“Since this is a Catholic setting, our goal is to read books and hold discussions about God’s love” as much as possible, she said.
There is no fee to attend the program and parents/guardians will stay with their children for each half-hour session.
For more information, contact Evans at 732-785-0872 or email [email protected].[[In-content Ad]]