The students' commitment to the nationwide Reading Aloud Day has a lasting effect

In January there was a reunion with primary school children at Willibrord School

The story began on 18 November 2022, when students in the Childhood Education, B.A. degree programme read to all the fourth graders from the Willibrord School on the Kleve campus as part of the National Reading Day. Shortly before Christmas, Lisa Reefmann and Nico Mustafic received a big envelope from the fox class they had read to: All the children had sent them a personal thank-you letter praising the great experience and the exciting detective story. The two students, together with their lecturer Renate Schmitz-Gebel, were so impressed by this that they came up with something very special: They wanted to visit the class and their teacher Mrs Roelofs in their own classroom and surprise them with a story they had invented themselves. Nico Mustafic had written it as part of Renate Schmitz-Gebel's course "Children's Literature and Storytelling Workshop": "At Home in the Tree".

On 27 January 2023, the time had come: the children were very happy about the visit from the university, they listened to the exciting beginning of the story - read by the author and his fellow student - illustrated it and wrote it to the end.

At the end, the children read out their texts. Now it was the guests from the university who listened and were fascinated by the children's ingenuity. It was a wonderful experience. Class teacher Daniela Roelofs was also enthusiastic: "For us, books and stories are part of everyday school life. The children love to write their own stories and have lots of ideas, as was shown again today."

"This was a successful conclusion to the winter semester," summarises lecturer Renate Schmitz-Gebel, "because students cannot understand the impact of children's literature better than here on site with the children. They will definitely include "reading aloud and storytelling" in their future work because they have experienced the fantastic power of words and pictures themselves. A wonderful example of how teaching and learning, reading and reading aloud can have a lasting impact."

Those who are interested in the story "At Home in the Tree" by Nico Mustafic can find it as a download here or can write an email to: renate.schmitz-gebel@hsrw.org