Tag: jaylens Challenge

BULLY by Patricia Polacco (and more resources for educators and parents)

  BULLY is the latest book written by one of my all time favorite authors, Patricia Polacco.   I truly believe that Polacco was the original blogger ,as each of her narrative books tells an important story that is based on the life and times of the author.  If you are a lover of children’s books, then you  surely will recognize previous award winners by this writer.  Two of  which continue to hold a place of honor in our home are  THE KEEPING QUILT  and THANK YOU, Mr. FALKER.  And, now I will set BULLY in a place to be easily discovered by guests, as well.

In case you are new to the magic of Patricia Polacco let me give you a recap of my favorites- THE KEEPING QUILT is a family chronology that shows how important our ancestors are to our future.  THANK YOU, MR. FALKER chronicles Polacco’s childhood struggles with learning disabilities and the one teacher who helped her feel worthy and that she could succeed.  As an offshoot, of the latter book, Polacco  now has penned BULLY,  a story set in contemporary times, but one that could resonate with any person of any age who recalls the sting of being bullied.

The main character of  BULLY is Lyla, who could easily be the kid next door, your daughter or your friend.  She is a person who has recently moved to a new community and simply wants to “fit in”.  She has good parents and has been raised to be a loyal friend, but her temptation to be part of  the “in group” sets her up to be bullied.  As an educator, I could appreciate the genuine scenario that Polacco has demonstrated so eloquently.  She has done her homework on writing for her young audience – it shows on every page!

Bullying is a serious problem in the United States.  It is so pandemic that now we offer October as the Anti-Bullying month! It only seems  fitting that counselors and educators will want to add BULLY to their school shelves as part of an anti-bullying curriculum.  Parents also should find this book any easy start for talking points that are so necessary to have in today’s world- cyber bullying.

These resources are on my Anti-Bullying recommendations list. I hope you find them helpful. 










I received as part of this review a copy of BULLY.  No  monetary compensation was awarded. The book will be donated to a local school to be shared and enjoyed by scores of children.  The opinions of this review and blog of that of Louise Masin Sattler.

One Child Helping Another- a True Act of Friendship

Jaylen, his sister and me - meeting in Florida, December 2010. These kids are both amazing!

I have known Jaylen Arnold for more than a year. Each time I read his posts, watch his videos or see his tweets I have to remind myself that he is not even a teenager, but a young boy with multiple personal challenges who does not wallow in his own struggles, but chooses to help others. In fact he goes beyond measure to assist peers, such as in the case of his friend,  Carissa Bodner.

In the video below Jaylen eloquently appeals to his audience to help Carissa, who recently was hit by a drunk driver while riding her bike. She has been in critical condition and has received multiple surgeries. Carissa, needs our help. Please watch and then consider contributing to  Jaylen’s campaign to lend a helping hand to his dear friend.

There are several ways to connect with Jaylen.



My company, SIGNING FAMILIES will be donating a generous portion of  proceeds from our product sales to Carissa throughout the fourth of July weekend. Perhaps you will do the same? Thank you.

Meet Jaylen Arnold!

Jaylen Arnold is no ordinary kid!  You will know that from the very first minute that you speak to him or read his Twitter feed.  You also will know that he is a force to be reckoned with as he is the catalyst behind a very strong anti-bullying campaign known as Jaylens Challenge. He also is trying to raise funds to help educate children and school personnel about bullying.

I first “met” Jaylen through Twitter.  I kept seeing his Twitter name – @JaysChallenge– linked with some pretty interesting words such as Tourette’s Syndrome and Bullying.  I also found out that he was not camera shy despite having a significant tic disorder which makes vocal fluency difficult, to say the least.  He piqued my curiosity because two decades ago while still in training as a psychologist I attended a Tourette’s Conference in Pennsylvania.  Our graduate class was all assigned the task of attending portions of special education conferences to report to the statewide association for School Psychologists.  My fellow graduate students picked their favorites and I was given by pick of the straw- the leftover session- Tourettes.  What my fellow grad students didn’t know was that I was the winner.  I was fascinated and in awe of the dozens of people who came to the conference to explain their lives with hard to control or uncontrollable tics.  I also found great strength within this group. I believe that my training prepped me for helping Jaylen.

I explain all of this because I wanted to know how a nine year old boy could literally turn many in this country into foot soldiers for his anti-bullying campaign.  Now I don’t mean area school children only (although they make up a wonderful part of his anti-bullying army).  I mean people in the entertainment industry.  Even Leo DiCaprio is on board and Moon Frye!  His biggest supporters, however are his parents, sister and actor, Dash Mihok. Dash understands Tourettes and Jaylen because he too has had to handle the disorder.  He is an exceptional role model for Jaylen. Dash also is the “grand prize” for what Jaylen has termed, “The Next Step”.  This is a grassroots campaign to educate people about bullying and give assistance.  The full explanation of why Jaylen is taking on such a huge undertaking is here:  http://www.JaylensChallenge.org

And why am I writing this blog to ask you to join Jaylen’s Army for “BULLYING NO WAY”. Because no one deserves to be treated as he has been within our public school system.  This child endured wearing a teacher designed sign around his neck warning people that he was disabled.  Thus, inciting bullying by classmates.  I was incensed when I heard his mom, Robin discuss this issue and knew I had to help prevent any other child from having such an atrocity happen within our school system.

To learn more about Jaylen Arnold,  JaylensChallenge or the NEXT STEP campaign visit any of these links:

www.JaylensChallenge.org (Here is where you can order some really groovy glow in the dark support bands to wear)  Check out who owns them at the bottom of this post!

Jaylen’s many past media appearances: http://www.jaylenschallenge.org/jaylens-on-the-web

Discovery Channel –  Jaylen is featured here:  Tourette’s Uncovered” premier on @Disc_Health http://bit.ly/arImEy 9/13/10 at 9pm

Now it is time to hear from Jaylen!!

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