About 35 years ago, several tornadoes hit eastern North Carolina. At that time, the University of North Carolina's Child and Adolescent Program created a series of coloring books to help children and their families cope. That history inspired Lindsey Atkins, a social worker who currently serves as a clinical instructor for the same UNC program. Atkins wrote a story called Joey the Kangaroo and Her Coping with COVID Plan that includes illustrations for children to color. Like the coloring books from decades ago, the social worker's COVID coloring book is meant to give children and their families tools to deal with the pandemic's emotional impact.
Joey's Experiences Are Familiar
In Joey, Atkins has created a character that many kids can identify with. Joey lives with her parents and her little brother Roo in a neighborhood of animal families. Joey's community is living through the COVID-19 pandemic. The young kangaroo misses her friends, her grandparents, and school. But she's most upset about her mom, an essential worker who can't quarantine at home. The whole situation makes Joey feel "worried, lonely, sad, bored, and mad". The little kangaroo uses strategies she's learned from her neighbors to cope with her "Big Feelings Storm"
The Author's Goals for the COVID Coloring Book
Atkins has several goals for the book. She expects young readers will realize they're going through the same things as Joey. Therefore, they can do the same things the kangaroo does to deal with their feelings. Atkins hopes the book will get parents and children to talk about feelings and thoughts related to the pandemic. Also, having pictures to color in the book is meant to aid healing since art can help children process their emotions according to Atkins.
The coloring book is free and available online as a PDF. Four counties in North Carolina have announced plans to distribute the book at free lunch sites.
Staffing Plus has opportunities for social workers and other behavioral health professionals. Contact us for more information.
- One Special Social Worker
- 5 Benefits of Having a Career in Social Work
- Social Worker Offers Home Schooling Tips for Parents
- Special Education Meetings Can Qualify for FMLA
- Social Workers are Hard-Wired to Care
- Extraordinary Kids With Autism Rock Out to Queen
- Providing Hope for Low-Income Children with Autism
- Paraprofessionals Face Dangers Related to Special Education Work
- For Kids With Autism, It's All Happening at the Zoo