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Twenty Twinkling Stars: (A Children’s book) Celebrating the Children of Sandy Hook Elementary School

19 Sleepy StarIt has been two years since the tragic event on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School that claimed the lives of 20 children and 6 educators. With school starting for most children in the upcoming weeks how does a parent prepare their children to handle conflict, disagreements and fighting on the playground and classroom? Even at the preschool and early elementary school age, modeling and sharing proactive and positive values and ways to resolve conflict can be very valuable. Having this kind of difficult conversation with your child could potentially be one of the hardest things you will have to do. Each parent will need to assess the situation for yourself and use your best judgment.

As a way to ease into the conversation, I suggest reading a book to your little ones entitled Twenty Twinkling Stars written by Laurie Schloff, Director of Executive Training with The Speech Improvement Company, Inc. and illustrated by Lena Warnke, a New York University student. The book is an intergenerational project where two minds have come together to share the beauty and joy of childhood. According to Laurie Schloff, the book can be used as a tool for “character building” and exhibits the “beauty of children through entertaining stars”. I had the privilege of speaking with Laurie to discuss the book. Her inspiration in writing the book was to “contribute to creating a more peaceful world through communication”.

It was my pleasure speaking with Laurie to gain a little insight into her project, Twenty Twinkling Stars. Here is a reflection of our phone interview:

• What do you want the readers to know about the book -Twenty Twinkling Stars?
The book was written to celebrate the spirit, joy, and passion of the twenty children of Sandy Hook Elementary School. I wrote Twenty Twinkling Stars to contribute to creating a more peaceful world through communication. The characters in the book are stars that have personalities – Caring Star, Courage Star, Love Bug Star, Sporty Star, Artist, Star, Music Star, Birthday Star, etc. Whimsical rhymes and the beautiful illustration are designed to appeal to young children between the ages of three and seven.

• What challenges did you incur while writing the book?
Pain and heartbreak at first. Then joy emerged as we celebrated the lives of the lost children as well as the energy joy and passions of children everywhere.

• Do you have a favorite star? If so, which star and why?
Sleepy Star is my favorite because he sleeps on the moon and dreams. Also, my last name Schloff, means “sleep “in German. Reading about sleepy star me just help your little ones go to dreamland!

• How can one purchase the book and learn more information?
To purchase the book, visit National SAVE or Amazon.com.

• Why did you partner with SAVE?
We wanted to contribute to an organization which uses communication as a tool to solve conflict. All the proceeds of the book will go to the organization SAVE (The National Associations of Students Against Violence Everywhere) a non-profit organization dedicated to decreasing potential for violence in school and communities with a focus on using communication as a tool to help youth resolve conflict through nonviolence.

Laurie and Lena were special guests on The Texas Conflict Blog Talk Radio program. Tune in to hear about how they partnered together and their thoughts on the book. In addition, Laurie provides five techniques for communicating in a peaceful, proactive way.

“We miss your exuberant endless joy. Take flight my boy, know you have the wings you wanted” – Twenty Twinkling Stars

By Yvette Watson Jenkins
Graduate Student, University of Baltimore – Negotiation and Conflict Management ProgramStars- frontcover

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