According to a 2001 study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, about 30% of students (that’s 5.7 million children) in the US are affected by bullying, either as a bully, a victim or both.
Children with special needs are much more likely to be bullied. In fact, one study estimated that between 60-80% of kids with special needs are bullied.
[Statistics from the Interactive Autism Network, National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center and the Health Resources and Services Administration]
Bullying. It’s a word and a topic that strikes fear into my heart as a mother to two young children who are about to begin kindergarten. As a mom to a special needs son, that second statistic absolutely breaks my heart and scares me senseless. I’ve often thought about how I will approach the topic with my two sons, and have even started having conversations with Little Man about why other kids might say mean things towards Big Brother. But how exactly do you get that conversation started? Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed at the thought.
So when I was contacted last week about a new anti-bullying project that is getting ready to be launched, I was ecstatic. This sounded like something I wanted to be a part of.
It is my deepest pleasure to introduce to you ‘Dandelion,’ a new anti-bullying book project written by Galvin Scott Davis who is the award-winning director of the digital agency Protein One. I had the honor of reading and sharing the book with my children.
“The story follows Benjamin Brewster as he navigates his way around ‘The School for the Misguided’ and its resident bullies. With no one to turn to, a patch of Dandelions appear beside Benjamin which allow him to conjure creations from his imagination and use them to fend off the antagonists.”
“With all my might, you’ll all take flight… If I could but wish for better things, you’d all disperse and grow your wings.”
In addition to this beautifully illustrated book, the story is being turned into a very interactive and detailed digital app where you can physically help Benjamin blow the dandelions from the screen.
This story was written when one of the author’s sons was bullied at school. In an attempt to help talk with his son and make him feel more comfortable at school, ‘Dandelion’ was born. It is a story that encourages parents and children to not only talk about bullying, but that imagination can be used to help solve problems. In fact, the main message of the story is “Bullying is for people with no imagination….” I absolutely love this unique approach. Little Benjamin Brewster uses his imagination to fend off the bullies and find courage within himself. I think we should all be encouraging our children to use their imaginations, especially when it comes to interacting in this great big world of ours. Most of all, I love that this project gives families a fun, interactive way to get the conversation started even at a young age.
If you would like to catch a glimpse of the app in action, check this out:
So here’s the deal. The author is pre-selling the book and other products such as activity packs and signed merchandise to raise funds to complete the project on Kickstarter.com. You can view the project here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/protein/dandelion-bullying-is-for-people-with-no-imaginati
There are 10 days left and they need your help to make this project become a reality. You can make a pledge (not a donation) for as little as $5 towards this project and receive some awesome rewards in return (like your name in the credits, yo!) I encourage you to not only check it out and make a pledge, but to help spread the word as well. I wholeheartedly support this project and have already made a pledge. The author has also graciously offered to give two lucky readers of mine a signed copy of the book, and that giveaway will be coming up in August.
So what do you think? Will you help me spread the word? Tweet it, Facebook it and share it with your friends. Take a few minutes to look it over and then leave me a comment. Let’s make this project become a reality!
Twitter – @dandelionapp