How do you teach your children about the coronavirus and the social justice issues the current pandemic exposes? These conversations aren’t easy for parents or educators. They must teach kids the importance of wearing masks and washing their hands, but they have to compete with conflicting messages from social media.
A group of students from Long Beach, California, decided to make the process less problematic by inventing a series of colouring books that tackle tough topics. They not only help children deal with challenging realities, but they also raise money for charitable organisations.
What Is the Be the Change Coloring Co.?
The Be the Change Coloring Co. is the brainchild of Long Beach Polytechnic High School students Lauryn Hong, Ella Matlock, Sofia Migliazza and Erin Rogers. Their mission is to help people navigate challenging times by using kid-friendly language and characters.
They currently offer a COVID coloring book for sale on their website. They designed the book to teach kids how to stay safe and healthy and protect others. They have their second book in production for a series entitled “Stand up for Your Shell-ves.” This series deals with discrimination in America and helps children understand why they need to treat all people respectfully, even if they look or act differently.
The organization dedicates proceeds from each sale to charity. Purchasing a book is an innovative way to help in the current crisis, and you can select which group benefits. The company hopes to expand, with each subsequent book primarily benefiting an entity like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or Black Lives Matter.
To date, the organization has sold over 1,000 books. It goes to show what the power of the human imagination and creative spirit can do when focused on meaningful solutions to real-world problems.
The Children Are the Future
If we want to create a healthier world, we need to start by educating youth. Many of today’s problems stem from older generations clinging to outdated behavioral patterns and ways of living. They don’t do so out of spite, but because that’s what their life experiences reinforced as proper behavior. Think of habits like forest trails. Those that get used often remain well-worn and easy-to-follow, even for newbies.
You can see the principle of early learning at work when you look at nations like Japan. Many residents of this nation wore surgical masks in public long before COVID-19. Part of the reason has to do with an elevated social consciousness, but they’ve also managed to embrace the positive side effects. They use them to indicate that they don’t want to communicate with others on crowded public transits the way some American travelers use headphones.
Books like those produced by Be the Change Coloring Co. can play an integral role in changing societal mores to make things more equitable for all. When children learn the consequences of systemic racism or the means of disease transmission, they’ll gravitate toward becoming part of the solution.
Why the World Needs More Innovation Like the Be the Change Coloring Co.
This pandemic brought many challenges, but it can also serve as a transformative time for positive advancement. The young people behind the Be the Change Coloring Co. show how books can open doors to a kinder, healthier world!