CRISIS MANAGEMENT TOOLS : BOOKS ACTIVITIES FAQ TESTIMONIALS
What are crisis management tools for children?
We have combined storytelling with meaningful dialogue and creative activities to teach coping and life skills around social issues that affect children. Our resources are socially friendly and encompass all ethnic groups.
Why do we need to read stories to children about social issues that affect them?
We need to build dialogue around what to do. Conversations can educate kids and guide them toward positive interventions, increase awareness of resources available to them, and build empathy among them. We know that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18 years old. Prevention and intervention are key to helping children grow into healthy adults. Kids require empowerment tools to help increase self esteem, critical thinking, and hope and understanding, especially for those living in crisis. These "assisted-help" concepts will result in better outcomes for their future.
How do we tell kids stories about abuse, violence and addictions?
The story must be told in a straightforward, honest manner, which addresses the social issues that are familiar to the child in a non-threatening, sensitive way. As an example, we may write the stories using colourful birds with charismatic personalities. Although the characters are dealing with serious issues, they are loopy and fun. The characters may have their own terminology for certain words, which makes the act of reading fun.
Aren’t these stories depressing?
Social situations are introduced in a non-threatening way and coincide with fun interactive activities and characters. The characters portray the effects of the social issues that affect them and then a resolution mindset moves the reader toward positive intervention possibilities. The children we have read to really identified with the characters and the story. They enjoyed providing advice, role playing and talking about the social issues that affect the characters. We often had a school counsellor present as well as teachers. Each time one of the kids related with a character because they were going through something similar, the teacher confirmed that the child did benefit from hearing a story that drew out those similarities. Children need to know they aren’t alone in their circumstance.
Why do we use word play in our stories?
By using word play and characters with a completely different anatomy, we can deliver the story in a non-threatening way. The feelings, reactions and situations of the characters are the same and the child is able to relate through those similarities in a safe way.
What age group is this resource for?
The unique format of the slideboard book provides the flexibility to read to various age groups, literacy levels and in different situations. We test-piloted to groups in grades 1 to 6. Some of the older kids in grade 6 felt it was too immature for them, so we developed a separate reader so that kids can read the stories on their own. All the other age groups were totally engaged. It depends on the child and their level of maturity.
Who can use this resource?
The story works well for one-on-one and group reading and can be used by professional counsellors, teachers, facilitators and laypersons or anyone wanting to read to a child. However, if you are planning to have a child use the interactive workbook, we suggest you contact a professional prior to doing the activities and refer to the Storyteller Guide for instructions.
What do I need to know before I read this resource to children?
Read the story through a couple of times to familiarize yourself with the storyline, characters and word play. Decide whether to use the wordplay when reading to your audience. Decide ahead of time which activities you will do. Read the story in a least two parts - a few days apart or read the story over a period of a few days and incorporate more discussion and activities.
Has a professional endorsed these resources?
We work with a multi-sector professional focus group that provide input and direction to our work. Our focus group critiques the stories and substantiates the need for such resources.
Can these stories really make a difference?
I believe, and have seen, that if children are not heard they shut down, lose trust, give up, get angry, and lash out. They turn to addictions, self-contempt and violence. They are left with a host of emotions and no way, or means, to deal with them. A child who had the same potential as any other, now becomes a burden on society. Not only do these resources fill a need for children, but as a society, for every dollar we spend in prevention we realize an $8.00 return on investment. The affirmative answer...absolutely!