Help for Kids for Hurricane Katrina Anniversary
Hurricane Katrina occurred three years ago, but its effects are still being felt, particularly by children. And, with more recent weather tragedies in mind, the Louisiana Children's Museum (www.lcm.org), and Think It Ink It Publishing (www.thinkitinkitpublishing.com) have teamed up to help.
Think It Ink It Publishing collaborated with the Museum to produce an interactive book commemorating the third anniversary of hurricane Katrina. The professionally illustrated, wordless picture book was unveiled during the Louisiana Children's Museum's commemorative two-day event, Days of Hope. The innovative book enables children to share their story and be published.
“We worked with the Museum, their child psychologist and a Louisiana illustrator to develop the idea and create a 20-page book using the destruction of a tree house as a metaphor,” said Dr. Alice Wilder, a founder of Think It Ink It Publishing and prominent children's television producer (Super Why!, Blues Clues). “Children can write about the tree house, the community coming together to rebuild it, or they can tap into their experiences with Katrina. The open-ended story was designed to promote the positive characteristics of humanity that emerge during disasters perseverance, participation, resilience, a belief that each person can make a difference, and hope.”
This book represents the latest addition to the Think It Ink It Publishing series of illustrated, wordless picture books with blank lines so children can write their own story and express themselves.
For the Days of Hope effort, a special, custom-illustrated book was created by prominent Louisiana artist Katie Rafferty, who lived through Katrina herself. The story is set in a quintessential New Orleans neighborhood and depicts a community working together to rebuild a fallen tree house. The symbolism of the destruction of the Louisiana community is balanced by the message of hope expressed through the rebuilding effort. The illustrations depict everyone (even animals, such as a dog, squirrels and birds) working together.
There are two ways to “Think It Ink it.” Using a creative-writing story kit, kids can express their feelings and become authors by writing directly into fully-illustrated, soft cover book. Or they can work online to write their story, which will then be printed and sent back to them as a hardcover, complete with their “author's” photo and bio.
Other Think It Ink It Publishing titles have their own sets of pictures and children are free to write whatever story sparks their imagination.
“We think of this project as a helpful tool for children who are trying to make sense of their memories and their present lives, and who will benefit from expressing their feelings, which can feel very therapeutic,” said LCM staff psychologist Valerie Wajda-Johnston. “The stories we have seen so far have been heartwarming and display the extent to which children were affected by the tragedy and subsequent events in their lives like loss, relocation and family upheaval.”
“We were looking for a way to help children with resiliency in the face of tragedy,” said Wilder. “Children who have participated in our pilot program have shown remarkable courage and skill. We've been able to witness how Hurricane Katrina moved them.”
Families wishing to write a “Hurricane Katrina” Think It Ink It Publishing story can do so by going online to: www.LCM.org. They can also visit: www.thinkitinkitpublishing.com.#