Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Helping Kids Grow their Self Esteem: The JNP Project

While searching for Kindness Activities, I fell upon the JNP Project.  I really liked what I saw.  Then a little while later I saw they were connected to the School Counselor groups on Facebook.  

I asked  Dona Rudderow Sturn, who leads the group if she would be willing to talk to you about the JNP Project.  Here is what Dona had to say.



“I AM. I CAN. I WILL. EMPOWERED.” These words, which are The JNP Project vision, fuel me. 

At the JNP Project, we see bullying as sign of disempowerment—for both the perpetrator and recipient. As a child, I was a victim of bullying. I know firsthand that strong self-esteem is one of the best ways to combat it.

When I was growing up, kids “being mean” to one another was somewhat accepted as typical, if unfortunate, kid behavior. Fortunately, that “kids-will-be-kids” attitude is changing. It’s time to turn the tide of bullying. Today, kids are being hit with waves of horrendous messages—especially about their looks and/or abilities—from other kids at school, and especially on the Internet, where bullies can hide their identities. The awful news, researchers say, is that cyberbullying is slowly, but definitely increasing. 

Recent statistics show that face-to-face school bullying—usually done by tweens and teens, ages 10-18—occurs most 

often among sixth graders. Reliable data about the highest incidents of cyberbullying is still scarce. However, we already 

know that juvenile cyberbullying tactics include harassment, impersonation, photographic torture, creating social media 

sites to promote the bullying of the victim, and happy-slapping (videoing a bullying incident of slapping, hitting, kicking, or punching). All and any of these acts are heinous and unacceptable. 

At The JNP Project, we’ve discovered the good news: “inner-awesome kids” are not likely to become the recipients of bullying, nor will they likely become bullies. That is why our JNP professional teams are creating a new, fun (and educational!) chapter books series (thirty-one books strong) to help parents and educators help kids recognize their inner-awesome selves (self-esteem), starting at a younger age. Such inner-awesome kids deliberately choose to act from their own character, courage, and confidence—a powerful beginning step in preventing bullying.

In the JNP illustrated Adventures to Awesome series, kids from ages 5-12+ “visit” truth, kindness, harmony, forgiveness, giving, love, compassion, determination, and strength as they meet nine-year-old Jane; her extraordinary talking goldfish, Oracle; and their friend Jake. In the Undersea World of Awesome, our readers—
like the kids at Bates Middle School —become friends with sea-creature characters such as ancient and wise Jaunty Mr. Sea Turtle, Monte The Magnificent magician crab, the teenage Royal Mer-Twins, and the (often) annoying Murky Moray Eel. With Jane, Jake, and Oracle, our readers solve puzzles, discover inner-awesome character traits, and hunt for—and find—The Big Secret. Most of all, kids discover their own empowered character.  

More information about JNP books is available here. A free PDF of the JNP series Prequel book, Jane & Jake’s Adventures to Awesome: The Journey Begins, is on this page, ready for downloading. (Parent Kits that correspond to each JNP book) 

One simple way to get involved and combat any form of bullying is building self-esteem through doing acts of goodness for others. We would love to have you join The JNP Project’s exciting new “Acts of…” Boomerang It! Challenge, which is now circling the globe. 
(The entire Marley Middle School in Glen Burnie, MD just took the Challenge.) 

Please visit The JNP Boomerang It! Challenge page for more information.

Come with us to help kids shine from their inner awesome. It is Positively Empowering!


So, Thanks Dona, for sharing the JNP Project with us.  I know I have my boomerangs and I can't wait to have my kids take the challenge of doing an act of good.  More importantly, I can't wait to see the acts they report back to me with.

If you want to help empower students, and you need some lesson ideas, make sure to check out the JNP Project.

Want to connect with other school counselors?  Check out the links below and join in the conversations:

  • The Middle School Counselor Facebook Page
  • Carol's Pinterest Boards
  • The Middle School Counselor on Twitter
  • Caught In The Middle School Counselors (Facebook Group)
  • High School Counselors' Network (Facebook Group)
  • Elementary School Counselor Exchange (Facebook Group)
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