Tradebook Tips for Teachers from Author Jewel Kats
Welcome to Day 3 of the virtual tour for my new book Reena’s Bollywood Dream. Today I’d like to share some tips for ways teachers can use my book in the classroom.
We both know that there are quite a few children’s books in the market about childhood sexual abuse. However, up until now, there aren’t many stories featuring ethnic children enduring such situations. Reena’s Bollywood Dream: A Story About Sexual Abuse is the first book of its kind to put a multicultural family and childhood sexual abuse in the spotlight. It’s about time.
While the West has made strides in speaking up about childhood sexual abuse, many cultures from other parts of the world are slowly following suit—if at all. Families often shy away from the subject of sex. In turn, many ethnic children—even from North American households–aren’t taught childhood sexual abuse prevention apart from what’s learnt in school. This puts teachers in a unique and tough position.
Reena’s Bollywood Dream: A Story About Sexual Abuse is an excellent resource for today’s teacher. Students of different backgrounds will immediately recognize that Reena’s family happens to be American, but is culturally different. Her parents are from India. This will instantly illustrate that sexual abuse can happen to any child—regardless of skin color. Teachers can bring up this point.
The book includes a helpful glossary upfront that explains the sprinkle of foreign words used in the text of the story. Teachers can use this to launch a discussion about the differences found in the homes of his or her students. This will help instil tolerance among peers.
The fact that Reena’s parents don’t initially understand her desire to perform as an actress can be utilized to teach students how express their dreams and wants effectively to grownups. As a result, negotiation, communication and problem-solving skills can be built.
Teachers can give a definition of “grooming” in the context of childhood sexual abuse. He or she can ask students to help pinpoint the types of “grooming” tactics used by Uncle Jessi.
During the climax of the story, Uncle Jessi asks Reena to do something she’s uncomfortable with. She reacts strongly. He does, too. Reena’s determination and resolve to protect her body can be used as a form of empowerment for students. Teachers can explain what body parts are private and should never be touched.
Teachers can reassure students that sexual abuse is never their fault. Just as in the same manner as Reena’s family does during the conclusion of the story.
Students can also be made aware that they will always be believed when reporting sexual abuse. Teachers can make up a list of people students can report abuse to (i.e. a parent, grandparent, teacher, doctor, counsellor, etc.)
Most importantly, children who have experienced “grooming,” sexual abuse, or who have general questions may feel comfortable enough to speak to their teacher in private. In turn, appropriate measures can be taken.
Find out more about me and my book at the National Writing for Children Center, where the book is showcased all this month.
Follow Day 4 of my tour tomorrow at www.mayrassecretbookcase.blogspot.com Leave a comment every day of my tour and your name will automatically be entered to win a Gift Box Bundle – filled with books and other goodies – at the end of the month, provided by the National Writing for Children Center.