I’m so excited to have Mrs. P of MrsP.com as my guest author today. Her passion is getting kids writing and she runs the very popular MrsP.com Be-a-Famous Writer Contest. Today, though, she’s here to talk about bullying prevention and the role that writing can play for kids. I hope you enjoy it!
p.s. You can also find her on Twitter @MrsPStorytime!
October is National Bullying Prevention Month, a time when schools and organizations across the country can bring awareness and open up a dialog about the impact of bullying. Since I am interacting with teachers and parents daily with my free reading website, I wanted to be able to join in these efforts aimed at educating ourselves and the young people in our lives.
Over 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year and it doesn’t discriminate across socio-economic, racial/ethnic, or cultural lines. Bullying can begin as early as preschool and intensify during transitional stages, such as starting school in 1st grade or going into middle school. And as children grow and become involved in using social-media, cyber bullying can become another factor for them to contend with in their daily lives. At one time or another most of us have had people say unkind things, but bullying is often a relentless or ongoing circumstance.
Writing can be a very important outlet for children, as they are often the introverts that are the targets of bullies. Writing can help them put into words feelings that may be difficult to say out loud. Several years ago, one of the children who entered my annual Be-a-Famous Writer Contest wrote a story about an incident that happened at her school in kindergarten. While it wasn’t the winner of the contest, I felt compelled to film it and share the message, because she diffuses the situation in such a clever way. The story is called The Peanut Butter and Jelly Hotdog.
This year I was fortunate enough to film the first contemporary story (outside of the writing contest winners) for my Magic Library. It is also the first picture book I have filmed. Usually my stories have just a few images here and there, to spark the imaginations of the reader, but this is a true picture book. I filmed it so that there is ample time for young readers to look at the illustrations and see all that is taking place in them. The story is from Robin Robison, who most recently illustrated L. Frank Baum’s “Wizard of Oz” for Penguin Young Readers.
The story is called Wanda’s Wart and is about navigating friendship and bullying. I have created a special October playlist bringing awareness to National Bullying Prevention Month. I hope this playlist might be a resource for teachers to start a dialog with children about this difficult subject.
I mentioned the importance of writing as an outlet for children and this really was the impetus of creating my Be-a-Famous writer contest, now in its 6th year. This year’s theme of “Time Travel” allows students to escape to another time or place. It is for K-4 classrooms, and parents can be involved by letting their child’s teacher know about it. All the details can be found here.
Thank you for having me as a guest on your wonderful blog. I use it all the time as a resource for articles to share.
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.