Children’s book promotes tolerance and respect when it comes to bullying
Jason Kendal was inspired to write the children’s book My Friend Clyde after his sister Jacquelyn was bullied relentlessly throughout elementary and high school.
“Seeing my sister come home every day from school, crying and upset was the inspiration behind the book,” said Jason.
“I just felt that I had to do something and just comforting her wasn’t enough.”
It was because Jacquelyn learned differently that made her a prime target for bullies.
“It was happening to me because I have a learning disability,” said Jacquelyn Kendal. “I felt alone and different and confused — like, ‘Why is this happening to me of all people?’”
Yet today she’s empowered by the book her brother lovingly wrote and is reading it to students throughout the Greater Toronto Area, hoping to make a positive impact.
“By getting to kids at a young age and reading this book and educating them, I think it can make a difference,” said Jason.
My Friend Clyde is about acceptance and respect regardless of differences and has become a valuable tool, not only for parents, but for educators to introduce the conversation around teasing and bullying to children between the ages of three and seven.
“I think that you’re able to connect to Jacquelyn and see that Clyde is a representation of all that she’s gone through,” said Jodie Fox, Grade Two Teacher at the Associated Hebrew Schools of Toronto.
“She’s actually living proof that people who are being bullied can overcome and become great things.”
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