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Read Across the River Cities

On November 15th, Branches had the unique opportunity to participate in United Way of the River Cities' initiative "Read Across the River Cities". This initiative allowed volunteers to go into every third grade classroom in the UWRC service area and not only read 2 chapters of Charlotte's Web, but provide a copy of the book to every student.

You might be wondering how this relates to our work as domestic violence advocates--well, did you know it's never too early to start empowering children to recognize the "green flags" of a healthy friendship or relationship? Learning how to identify positive qualities in a relationship now--will help them to value and seek positive behaviors in romantic relationships later in life.

In Charlotte's relationship with Wilbur we can see three "green flags" of behavior that she demonstrates as a true friend:

  • Charlotte listens to Wilbur's concerns and validates his feelings

  • Charlotte writes kind words about her friend

  • Charlotte helps Wilbur without demanding something in return

Charlotte's a great example of a healthy friendship! Reading together is a great way to start up a conversation with your kids about how and where to set good boundaries for friendships and relationships. For example, we might ask our child, "What qualities make Charlotte a good friend to Wilbur?

This is just one of the many reasons we loved having the opportunity to speak to our third graders through Read Across the River Cities. Classics like Charlotte's Web can do so much inside and outside of the classroom!

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