I was ten years old when on one of the dusty shelves of the old library in a small town in Siberia I discovered an incredible Chronicles of Narnia book about majestic country that conquered me right away. It became our family book. Every year before Christmas, we gathered every evening to read out loud. It turned into a good family tradition.
Creation of the project
During many years of reading this book, we saw in it many important truths that could help children in choosing the right values. In Russia, unfortunately, the book did not become popular and did not receive proper attention compare to the West, where more than 100 million books of The Chronicles of Narnia were sold.
Every day in our society we encounter with many problems one way or another. I think that the hardest problems are the ones concerning the upbringing of the growing generation and formation of healthy family connections and values. It is the family that lays the foundation for development of personality and society as a whole. Every year we can see more and more that people are barely reading, and the TV, with its unhealthy values, replaces the world of books. This transition definitely had an influence on people, especially children.
Because of the above facts, we have developed and now are successfully implementing the program “Journey through Narnia”. The goal of the program is to pass on the concepts of the right moral values to children …
The idea of using C.S. Lewis’ classic as a tool to teach children morals and ethics came to my father about seven years ago after he saw how kids loved the works of C.S. Lewis a well-known author of the Chronicles of Narnia. Since then we had a successful partnership with a teacher from the USA, Carla Gilmore, who is our like-minded person. Carla wrote a manual for a work with book and the movie The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for the C.S. Lewis foundation. Together with Carla we organized the conference for teachers and volunteers in the city of Sochi.
For the last several years the program “Journey through Narnia” was changing and growing with us. Currently, we are partnering with the Center of prevention of harmful addictions among youth. Together with the Center we teach classes at schools, in the rehabilitation center for children with limited abilities and temporary rehabilitation center in the city of Sochi. In addition to the program, we hold a four day summer camp with the team of the book and the movie The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Besides the program “Journey through Narnia”, we also have developed series of classes covering interesting dates and Christian holidays. We are assured that the program “Journey through Narnia” can be very instrumental in regards to work with children.
At this point, there are three of us. Everything began with Nikolay Markin’s idea to popularize C.S. Lewis’ literary legacy. From there “Bridge2Narnia” came into being to touch the lives of the younger generation: from preschoolers to teen-agers. The main resource is the Chronicles of Narnia..
Elga Markin is the brain and driving force of the whole process, she develops programs, trains volunteers and teaches children.
Olga Popandopulo – a specialist and a partner – develops ideas and operational principles. Besides taking part in running programs, she keeps detailed records of the development of the work.
We are convinced that C.S.Lewis’ books are able to impact the lives of children, as they have a live connection with reality. We dream to see the new generation enjoying a morally fulfilled and happy life, able to resist the temptations that come through peer pressure.
Our friends and sponsors – Maik*Loriss Company led by Mikhail and Larisa Sleptsov – are caring people, who grasp the importance of caring for the younger generation. We highly appreciate their support; our project exists because of people like them.
At present we are developing new projects, we aspire to expand and diversify our work. Therefore we welcome sponsors and volunteers who have a heart for children and teenagers to join B2N.
The 2fold GOAL OF THE JOURNEY THROUGH NARNIA
We gained good experience and last year my daughter Elga and I designed our own program, which we called “Journey Through Narnia”. It is an interactive 9 lessons program which has a TWO FOLD GOAL:
• Spark interest in reading;
• Encourage children to think critically.
We teach children:
• C.S. Lewis biography – “Meet the Creator of Narnia”
• Lewis’ correspondence with children
• History of Narnia book
• Narnia timeline
• Compare the film and the book
• Discuss tough situations
• Power Point presentations
• Narnia film clips
• Narnia film sound-tracks
• Narnia book
• Teacher’s manual that we designed
• Little cards with pictures of Narnia characters to reward children’s good answers
• Fridge magnets, T-shirts, mugs, baseball caps with Narnia logos and characters.