Term 1, Issue 01: Learning Centre | Siena College
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Imagehow can we help?

The Emotional Power of Reading

“The oldest known library, dating back to the second millennium BC, in Thebes, Egypt, reportedly bore a sign above its portals in Greek: Psyches Iatreion, translated as healing place of the soul.”[1]

Reading is one way we can better understand our world and our place in it. At Siena College, students have access to and are encouraged to read from a vast variety of genres. This allows students to experience a multitude of emotions and experiences, from a position of safety and support.


Through reading, we can understand our own lives better, as well as build empathy towards others. Each book that a student reads, builds upon their understanding of the world, alongside personal experiences. Students can read stories they can relate to or that are fanciful or speculative. They can be scared, intrigued, humoured and inspired.

As part of our English curriculum, students share their reading experiences with each other during Wide Reading sessions. They are encouraged to question and contemplate characters, the choices they make and the emotions they express. These skills of interpretation, curiosity and self reflection are not only invaluable when examining a text in English, but for our students in their own lives as well.

Sharing reading with your child can be an amazing conduit to meaningful conversations where emotions are openly discussed and validated. There are many ways to start reading conversations, including reading the same book, sharing something you have read or are reading or even strolling around a bookshop or library together.

So grab a book and start a conversation!


[1] “Can reading help heal us and process our emotions – or is that just a story we tell ourselves?” by Jane Turner Goldsmith, University of Adelaide. Published January 23, 2023 – full text: https://theconversation-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/theconversation.com/amp/can-reading-help-heal-us-and-process-our-emotions-or-is-that-just-a-story-we-tell-ourselves-197789

[2] George R. R. Martin’s character Jojen in “A Dance with Dragon” (2011)

Roxanne Summer

Head of Learning Centre

Punita Mistry

Head of English
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