In case you need to feel validated for writing literary fiction, science will back you up

I’m not usually the type to post an hour before Shabbos starts, but this news item (first heard this morning during the break between some Mozart and some Corelli on KUSC) is just too wonderful to wait.

In case you feel defensive because you still think high-quality literature belongs in schools, or you’re trying to encourage quality over quantity in your own writing (thus spending way more time on each piece than seems wise), a new study indicates that reading literary fiction (Jane Austen, Don DiLillo, Chekov, or Alice Munro) temporarily enhances a reader’s emotional intelligence.

For more, read the study’s abstract here and a New York Times piece about it here.

Using books to build the emotional intelligence of children: Innovative programming at Aleinu/JFS this week

Aleinu Family Services here in Los Angeles will be integrating literature into parenting classes over the next few weeks. Parents attend with children in tow. The Aleinu therapists have selected picture books that effectively communicate social and personal skills to children, then developed discussions and art activities for parent(s) to share with their child(ren) to reinforce those ideas. Many teachers do this in classrooms, and some parents do this will their own children, but this is the first time I’ve seen this in a therapeutic setting like this. Very creative! See the flyer below for details. * UPDATE: THE TIME FOR THE SECOND AND THIRD PARTS OF THE PROGRAM HAVE BEEN CHANGED TO 6-7:15 p.m.