A New Brunswick teacher has written a book that he hopes will help kids around the globe open up to their parents about the stresses of living with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The book titled “Hope where are you?” was written by Armand Doucet, a teacher in Riverview, N.B., and was co-authored by Elisa Guerra, a fellow teacher living in Mexico.
“You see it in kids — they are struggling with what is happening and are trying to navigate this,” said Doucet, who released the book online this week.
“You wonder as a parent if anything is going to impact them longterm.”
The illustrated book tells the stories of children across the globe following the closure of schools due to the pandemic.
The goal, Doucet said, is to help start what can be a difficult conversation for parents.
He said that he was inspired to write the book by his friend in Italy whose family members died from COVID-19.
“Starting that conversation for kids, you struggle with that. How do you approach that as a parent?” he said.
The stories, he said, are indeed helping kids open up and find hope.
“Every story follows the same pattern. It has got a challenge or obstacle and kids are finding their hope and then after that they are spreading their hope to others,” said Doucet.
The book has already been translated into more than 35 languages and is available online for free at www.hopewhereareyou.com.
Doucet said the lighter, funny stories, like the one written about his own daughters, is connecting with children around the world.
Doucet said that people from all over the world are posting videos of themselves reading it to the book’s Facebook page.
The goal is to help kids find their own hope and inner light during a trying time for everyone.
“We have the little germ who usually dominates the hope in the first session and then by the end of it hope kicks its’ butt,” said Doucet.
Proceeds from the print-on-demand version of the book on Amazon are being donated to UNICEF.
Doucet and his team of volunteers who worked on the project from around the globe are working on a second book release and have set a goal to raise $1 million for the fund.
The book has also inspired a “hope movement” on Facebook.
Doucet says that people who have read the book are being asked to post to the site which story they connected with, what they are hopeful for, and are being challenged to share #hopewhereareyou with 10 friends.
“It’s important I think to bring those stories to light and that you are not alone,” Doucet said.
A new Angus Reid poll shows the effect being kept home from school due to the coronavirus is having on children across the country.
Twenty-nine per cent of kids aged 10 to 17, surveyed by the Angus Reid Institute, said missing class next year has been their biggest worry during the pandemic.
Other major concerns were missing school this year (27 per cent), other family getting sick (26 per cent), their parents getting sick (22 per cent) and their parents losing work (20 per cent).
–With files from Global News’ Jon Azpiri
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
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