What’s it about?
These materials all work together to emphasize the value of good behavior, breaking the cycle of bullying, by attempting to guide children down a path to being better behaved in the pursuit of a redefined ‘coolness’.
The specific synopsis for the main piece of material I was sent (Tanner Wants to be COOL!) is: “Bullying can happen when kids think that being mean, rude, and disrespectful behavior is cool. Many kids even think that bullying is cool. We can help kids learn the social skills tools needed to reject bullying by teaching them that kind, caring, and respectful behavior is cool, and that bullying is the ultimate in uncool. Through this fun picture book series, your children, grandchildren, or students can learn that “Kind is Cool,” and “Cool is Kind.” With fun, educational songs for children included, they are engaged as they follow Tanner as he learns that, “The KIND kid is the COOL kid, not the bully.”
What did I think of it?
Obviously, the aim is admirable. You Can Be a Cool Kind Kid seeks to break the cycle of bullying by teaching kids a new definition for cool. If the kids are young enough (and this series is definitely aimed at young readers, this will be theoretically be the definition that they associate with the word “cool”.
Tanner Wants to be COOL! is the first in the series of 5 books. It has vibrant colors, and simple wording. Everything is kept very basic, easy for even beginning readers to understand. Its set along the format of “What is cool?” “This is cool!” “This not cool!”, etc. The book also gives you a code to download two accompanying songs, by Steve Megaw, from the Cool Kind Kid website. The songs are about what you’d expect for that age range. An upbeat tempo, simple lyrics, etc.
The packet I received also included a bookmark as well as a booklet with bullying prevention tips. The bookmark has a poem about Raising a “Cool Kind Kid” and reinforcing the concepts behind the materials. The Bullying Prevention Tips booklet was very well done. The left page was always for kids to read, and the right was for parents/educators. It emphasizes the importance of teaching children certain behaviors as well as giving tips on how to do so.
Overall, though I can’t speak for the effectiveness, I can see what Barbara Gilmour, et al, are trying to do with these materials and given the age range that they’re aiming at, I think they’re doing a good job.
Click here to visit the Cool Kind Kid website, where you can download various materials, find out more about preventing bullying, and get tips on working with your child to make them into a Cool Kind Kid.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of these materials free from the author in exchange for an honest review.