I have worked as a therapist with young children for over forty years, helping them and their families deal with problems, worries and sudden changes in their lives. My team member, Chris Owens and I have been actively involved in a collective impact initiative in Louisville to address children exposed to violence. All of this inspired us to respond to our first hackathon challenge. In writing the story, I considered how the 6-9 year old children I have known deal with sudden changes and unknown threats that disrupt their lives and cause them to worry. As a team, we discussed what they might imagine and what might help them, and how to create characters and illustrations that would appeal to their imagination and level of understanding and enable us to reach our goal. We began our collaboration with the story text and Chris matched her art images to the narrative to bring the story to life. We shared ongoing work virtually and discussed our reactions and what to revise. Then we put all of this into several draft documents which we reviewed before the final version was converted into a pdf. The many challenges we faced included: having different levels of computer skill and creating from two different perspectives- as a therapist and as an artist. Our biggest challenge since we have collaborated in person for many years on different projects, was the inability to sit down together in real time and share and revise our ideas. So we had to find a common platform to communicate and Chris created a secret and private facebook group where we could share our information and files. We set deadlines for different phases of the project and communicated often so this structure worked for us.. The accomplishments we’re proud of include: Overcoming the communication and collaboration barriers, tackling the entirely new endeavor of a hackathon which pushed us to increase how we use technology. We wanted to create a book that would engage children, acknowledge their worries, encourage them to talk with adults and learn how to keep safe and worry less. We are proud and pleased with What Happens to 2nd Grade? as our final result. If we win this contest, we know that this e-book will be shared widely and benefit many children. Even if our work is not selected, we plan to share What Happens to 2nd Grade? in ways that will reach the children in our diverse community. Through use of available social media platforms, interviews, and reaching out personally to our many colleagues and community partners who care deeply about children ( e.g. child care professionals, Metro health department employees, counselors and teachers in the Jefferson County School system , staff in the offices of the Mayor and the Governor), our aim is to provide easy access to a book that can relieve anxiety for children and educate and empower them during this uncertain time of crisis and change.

Built With

  • adobe
  • and
  • built
  • english
  • fresco
  • with
  • word
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