Amanda and friend

Amanda Golert, the illustrator of our new Kidpower Teaching Books – and friend

I have always loved cartoons but never learned to draw them well. In 2004, after looking at the work of many artists on my quest to find the best illustrator for the Kidpower curriculum, I discovered that Amanda Golert — a Kidpower instructor whose quirky humor and deep understanding of our program had already strengthened Kidpower through her leadership as the head of Kidpower Sweden and as a member of our International Instructor Training Team — also has a simple drawing style perfect for capturing the images in my head!

Since then, our cross-continent collaboration has produced images that have given tens of thousands of people all over the world a great deal of entertainment, as well as a useful tool for teaching and learning safety skills.

Today, I am delighted to announce the publication of our new Kidpower Teaching Book series, which includes lessons both for younger children who are almost always with an adult as well as for youth who are becoming more independent.

These six new books make it easy and fun for educators, parents, and other adult leaders to start to introduce  our “People Safety” curriculum with children and youth in their classrooms, youth programs, and families. Stay tuned for our school and organizational packages that will include training for professionals to effectively teach and practice skills to keep kids safe.

Each book shows how to use cartoon-illustrated lessons, explanations, stories, skill practice coaching guides, and Kidpower Safety Signals to teach a set of social-emotional skills. These People Safety skills and strategies can prevent and stop most bullying, abuse, kidnapping, and other violence in ways that are age-appropriate, upbeat, emotionally safe, inclusive of kids with disabilities – and not scary.

Each of the following six books in the series can stand on its own, as well as be used in combination with the other Teaching Books. You can preview and purchase the books on Amazon. All income Kidpower receives from books sales goes to help our nonprofit organization cover the costs of publication and of developing and providing our educational resources.

TB 1 Thumbnail - HIRES1. Use Your Power To Prevent and Stop Trouble: How to use your body and voice to take charge of your safety
Knowing how to use the power of your body and voice can help to reduce conflict and to protect yourself from an assault. Instead of using fear to teach kids about violence prevention, Kidpower makes it FUN to learn to stay safe. Lessons include:

  • Acting Aware, Calm, and Respectfully Confident
  • Moving Away From Trouble
  • Being Powerful with Your Voice and Body
  • Different Ways of Using Your Personal Power

TB 2 Thumbnail - HIRES2. Be Safe With Feelings and Words: How to feel safe and act safely from the inside out

No matter how old or young we are, emotional safety skills can help to reduce a lot of conflict and prevent a lot of suffering as well as improve our communications and relationships. Lessons include:

  • Keeping Out Hurting Words and Letting in Compliments
  • Being Safe With What You Stay to Others
  • Being Safe With What You Say to Yourself
  • Different Tools for Protecting Your Feelings

TB 3 Thumbnail - HIRES3. Check First and Think First: How to stay safe with strangers and people you know

After promoting positive messages widely for over a quarter of a century, we are glad that many safety programs now use Kidpower’s Check First and Stranger Safety language rather than giving children confusing and scary messages like: “Don’t talk to strangers!” and “Stranger Danger!” Believing that the world is full of dangerous people they don’t know and must never talk to does not make kids safer – it just makes them anxious. Kidpower’s Positive Practice Teaching Method prepares kids to to handle difficult and potentially dangerous situations in ways that help to increase confidence, reduce worry, and develop competence. Lessons include:

  • Noticing When You are Together or On Your Own
  • Understanding and Using Kidpower’s Stranger Safety Rules
  • Thinking First To Assess What Is and Is Not Safe
  • Checking First Before You Go Even With People You Know

TB 4 Thumbnail - HIRES4. Get Help When You Have A Problem: How to make safety plans for everywhere you go

When young people understand and have practiced a safety plan for how to get help everywhere they go, they are far more likely to get help sooner rather than later, which can prevent many upsetting or potentially dangerous problems from getting bigger. Lessons include:

  • Knowing Where Safety Is If You Need Help
  • When To Wait and When to Interrupt
  • The Difference Between Tattling and Telling
  • Persisting in Getting Help From Busy, Impatient Adults
  • What to Do If You Are Lost or Bothered

TB 5 Thumbnail - HIRES5. Be Safe With Touch, Teasing, and Play: How to set boundaries with people you know

Kidpower’s boundary-setting skills and strategies help to protect kids from most child abuse, bullying, and other violence – and prepare them to develop strong relationships that can enrich their lives. Lessons include:

  • Understanding Personal Boundaries
  • What Is and Is Not Your Choice
  • Safety Rules About Private Areas
  • Safe Surprises and Unsafe Secret
  • Safe Trades and Unsafe Bribes
  • Recognizing what is and is not safe and stopping inappropriate touch.

TB 6 Thumbnail - HIRES6. Stop Bullying by Taking Charge of Safety:How to keep yourself and other kids safe from bullying – Advance Reader Edition

Stopping bullying requires that adult leaders make it a priority to teach and coach the ongoing use of People Safety skills and strategies in daily life. Our goal is to prepare children and teens to take action to:

  • protect their well being.
  • stay in charge of their own behavior.
  • advocate for the safety of other kids.

This Advance Reader Edition brings together some of Kidpower’s most requested resources for bullying solutions into one book. Lessons include:

  • Noticing When Bullying Is Happening
  • What Each of Us Can Do to Prevent Bullying
  • Cyber-Bullying and Internet Safety
  • Developing Positive Peer Relationships

In addition to making these books publicly available, our Kidpower Teaching Books will be incorporated into our training programs for classroom teachers and safety educators in schools, organizations, and agencies.

Kidpower Founder and Executive Irene van der Zande is a master at teaching safety through stories and practices and at inspiring others to do the same. Her child protection and personal safety expertise has been featured by USA Today, CNN, Today Moms, the LA Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Publications include: cartoon-illustrated Kidpower Safety Comics and Kidpower Teaching Books curriculum; Bullying: What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe; the Relationship Safety Skills Handbook for Teens and Adults; Earliest Teachable Moment: Personal Safety for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers; The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young People, and the Amazon Best Seller Doing Right by Our Kids: Protecting Child Safety at All Levels.

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