Our children are growing up in a society where school shootings occur more frequently than ever before. It’s terrifying just to hear about it, let alone experience. It fuels anxiety, leaving parents, educators and students navigating ways to cope. One solution is to be prepared, creating lockdown drills to teach children what to do in this type of traumatic event. Sometimes these drills can create fear and misconceptions for children. Having a children’s book that explains a lockdown drill to children, can be beneficial.
Guest Blogger, Rachel Tepfer Copeland
I Can Be A Superhero During A Lockdown is an empowering picture book appropriate for children of any ability, ages 4 years old and up. The book aims to decreases anxiety through full-color illustrations, easy-to-understand explanations, and multiple situational examples. A coloring sheet is also included to encourage further engagement and to help readers remember tasks through repetition. The book focuses on three main “jobs” that children must accomplish to keep themselves and others safe and become a superhero. These jobs are to listen to your teacher or the adult in charge, be quiet as a mouse, and sit as still as a statue when hiding.
It’s written in a positive, self-affirming, first-person account, which helps children safely practice and visualize a positive ending to a potentially difficult and frightening situation. My hope is that this story will become like a script that children can memorize, and then during a lockdown, regardless of how scary or traumatic it is, children can immediately react with the skills that they have learned.
Why it was created
I created this after my young son, in preschool at that time, had an upsetting experience during a lockdown drill at his school. After an exhaustive search, I found that there were no child-friendly and developmentally appropriate books about lockdowns. I thought it was important that children could learn what a lockdown is and how to behave during them, so I set about writing a story to teach these important lessons to my son. I originally created a single copy just for my son, however after the shooting at Santa Fe High School, only miles from our home, I decided to hire an illustrator and publish it myself in the hopes of helping other children like my son, and possibly even saving lives.
Rachel Tepfer Copeland has over 14 years of experience working professionally with hundreds of children and their families. As a Certified Child Life Specialist, she provided support, education and interventions to children and their families in the hospital during very difficult and traumatic situations. As an Early Intervention Specialist, Rachel provided developmental care to young children with disabilities in their homes and in the community.
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Winner will be chosen 2/15/19.