Burien Author Brings Her ‘Don’t Be a Bully Dog’ Program to Area Children
After suffering from being bullied at a young age, Burien Author Jacquie Ream has recently launched a “Don’t Be a Bully Dog” program to help create awareness, educate and offer productive dialogue for schools, churches, and youth focused organizations.
“We see it in the news every day—bullying on the playground, in the classroom, on the internet, and even through text messaging,” reads a press release. “Sadly, even the youngest of children can be targets of the devastating effects of bullying.”
The program developed by Ms. Ream, who herself was bullied at a young age, is the author’s effort to utilize fictional characters and stories to encourage children to openly discuss a topic that many shy away from out of fear of retaliation.
“When I was growing up, bullying occurred mostly in the school yard,” says Ream. “It was something that wasn’t discussed much and we sure didn’t tell our teachers in fear of being called ‘tattletales.’ But now, with cell phones and the internet, bullying can happen anytime and everywhere and children have to understand why it is happening to them and what they can do about it, or the consequences, as we see on the news every day, can be detrimental.”
Ream’s efforts to help children grasp the complexities of bullying started with the first book in her new Bully Dogs series written for children from kindergarten through middle school. Her first book, and series namesake, Bully Dogs, and her second book, YNK (You Never Know), are gaining popularity with children and adults alike. Although the series is based on fictional characters, the events and challenges the characters face are very real. In the first book (Bully Dogs), the main character, Fran, is victimized by not only the bullies in her school, but those of the canine persuasion in the neighborhood. When the bullies at school are intent on destroying her beloved volleyball team, Fran must decide whether to “stand up” or “sit out” the tough times. In Ream’s second book (YNK), Fran is exposed to the drama of cyber bullying and bullying by text. But this time it is Fran who must decide whether it is easier to become a bully than fight the technology world.
As a former educator herself, Ream knew that if she could create stories and characters that children would enjoy reading and talking about, she could create a vehicle for greater discussion about bullying in an open and safe environment.
In addition to writing the books for children to read, Ream also created class discussion talking points, activities, and a “Don’t be a Bully Dog Pledge.” All are utilized during her in-person presentations to educators, schools, youth groups, and parents’ groups across the state of Washington. To ensure that children and teachers have access to her program and her books prior to her visit, she also included a free travelling lending library.
Jacquie Ream’s “Don’t Be a Bully Dog” program is available at no charge. More information about the program, and author visits, is available at www.jacquieream.com.
“I truly believe that I can use my experience as a victim of bullying, and my stories, to make a difference,” says Ream. “If children can be empowered to say “No” to bullying, the media reports and stories will start to dwindle. I may have come to a place of peace around my childhood, but fighting against the horror of bullying is one fight I’m not willing to give up on–ever!”
Jacquie Ream was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She attended college by way of writing scholarships, and received her Master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Washington. She has written three children’s books, including the first two books of the Bully Dog Series, and KISS – Keep It Short and Simple – A reference book for school children, teachers and parents that shows “simply” the Easy Steps for Better Writing.
Jacquie has taught classes in creative writing for ages five through 65 years of age and is a passionate advocate for the importance of learning proper writing skills. She has been interviewed numerous times, around the issues of bullying, cyber bullying, and writing. Jacquie currently lives in Burien with her husband.
More information about Jacquie and the books she has written is available at www.jacquieream.com.