This year, for the first time since 1888, the US Thanksgiving and the first night of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah fall on the same day. According to some calculations, this won’t happen again for 77,798 years! For our American friends who celebrate Hanukkah, this convergence is especially meaningful because both holidays honor religious freedom.
Whatever your spiritual beliefs, gift-giving is an important part of most holiday traditions. As you prepare for the holidays, remember that the gift of safety never wears out or breaks. It increases joy and prevents problems. You can give safety in many different ways, and we hope you will incorporate Kidpower books and donations into your holiday traditions.
For example, perhaps, during one of the eight nights of Hanukkah or as part of other traditions, children could make a gift to Kidpower to help kids be safe all over the world. We’ll email a personalized note for each gift, large or small.
Our Safety Comics for older and younger children are enjoyable, useful, affordable gifts. Many parents tell us that their younger children look at these books over and over and play games practicing the skills. Their older children will read their book cover to cover, showing their deep interest in this kind of information.
Teachers, youth leaders, and parents will all appreciate receiving holiday gifts providing upbeat, fun ways to help kids be safe with peers, adult acquaintances, caregivers and strangers — without scaring them or “making problems worse.” Kidpower books offer inspiring stories, easy lessons, cartoon illustrations, and age-appropriate, fun, skill-building role-plays that help prepare children, teens, and adults to build strong, healthy relationships and take charge of their personal safety.
In addition to making great gifts, all income from book sales goes to our nonprofit organization to cover the costs of publication and the creation of new educational resources.
Here are descriptions of our four new books as well as readers’ favorites.
Earliest Teachable Moment: Personal safety for babies, toddlers and preschoolers, just published this month, makes an empowering gift for new parents, teachers, and caregivers of young children — and will be available soon on Kindle for easy reading. The title comes from one of Kidpower’s key concepts, “The earliest teachable moment is the best teachable moment, as long as it’s done in a way that builds understanding and skills, rather than creating anxiety and fear.”
This book describes how to use everyday skills and habits to protect young children from harm in daily life, help them develop strong relationships, and teach them skills for being safe and having fun with people. Topics also include how to create emotional safety for new parents, find safe people to care for your children, prevent and manage meltdowns, and use puppets and stories to help young children understand the safety rules.
One Strong Move: A Cartoon-Illustrated Introduction to Teaching Self-Defense makes teaching practical self-defense to teens and adults easy with 150 pages of lesson plans, teaching tips, and cartoon-illustrated visual aids to engage students, and make lessons and practices simple, safe, and fun. This would make a useful and interesting gift for martial artists, self-defense teachers, high school physical education teachers – and anyone who wants to learn more about self-defense. The title is from another key concept we teach, “One strong move stops most attacks.”
The book focuses on building awareness and target denial skills for how to spot and get out of dangerous situations, as well as how to verbally and physically defend from and escape an attack. Although it’s aimed at teens and adults, much of the information is also relevant for teaching middle-school aged children.
Two new curriculum books, 15 People Safety Group Lessons and 10 People Safety Assignments, offer bullying, violence, and abuse prevention lessons that are easy to prepare and fun to teach and learn. The cartoon-illustrated curriculum is designed to allow a teacher, youth group leader, or parent to quickly help kids learn how to take charge of their emotional and physical safety – and prepare them to develop positive peer relationships and healthy communication skills. The 10 Assignments book includes a license for the owner to make up to 30 copies a year of the assignments to use with children in your own immediate family, classroom, or youth group, and is also available in a bilingual English-Spanish edition.
Kathy Rideout, Director of Montessori School of Santa Cruz County, which has been using the Kidpower program for over 20 years, says,“We are excited to have these new resources for helping our teachers and other staff integrate teaching Kidpower safety strategies and skills into their daily activities. The Positive Peer lessons are especially important in creating a common language with our students to help prevent bullying.”
The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young People is a comprehensive, 400-page guidebook to protecting children from harm and teaching them to protect themselves, with a forward by Gavin de Becker, renown expert in predicting and managing violence and best-selling author of The Gift of Fear and Protecting The Gift, who writes, “Kidpower has an exceptional track record in the field of personal safety and violence prevention.” We also have an abridged 100-page version of this book in English and in Spanish called How to Teach Self-Protection and Confidence Skills to Young People.
The Kidpower Safety Comics Series for Kids, Teens and Adults are available in English, Bilingual, and Spanish editions and offer age-appropriate comics and stories showing how Kidpower strategies and skills work in many different situations:
The Kidpower Safety Comics for Younger Children has age-appropriate stories for preschoolers through third graders to address issues such as using “hands down power” instead of hitting, using “mouth closed power” instead of saying mean words, getting help from busy adults, stranger safety and making safety plans for problems like getting lost in the store.
The Kidpower Older Kids Safety Comics for 9 to 13-year olds provides social stories to prepare young people to stop bullying, set and respect boundaries, deal with peer pressure, be safe on the Internet, and make safety plans for older kids to handle increased independence and responsibilities such as going to and from school on their own.
The Fullpower Safety Comics for teens and adults helps make learning personal safety skills fun and accessible for people with intellectual disabilities or limited literacy skills. According to John Luna Sparks, a licensed clinical social worker, “Many of my clients are teens and adults with developmental disabilities who have already experienced bullying, abuse, or other violence. I use the Fullpower Safety Comics even with those who can only read just a little. The entertaining illustrations, social stories, and step-by step descriptions of practices are a huge help for them in developing personal safety strategies and skills.”
Bullying – What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe shows how to use Kidpower practices to create cultures of caring, respect, and safety at school, at home, and in your community. The vivid stories, entertaining examples, and clear step-by-step explanations of what to say and do are relevant for addressing bullying with all young people, from toddlers to teenagers, and are even useful in dealing with adult-to-adult bullying.
With Thanksgiving in mind, I want to give thanks to all our readers, donors, instructors, center directors, board members, advisors, volunteers, and staff for your time, interest, ideas, stories, and commitment. Kidpower is only possible because of your support!