Thursday, June 21, 2012

 Helping Children Feel Smart!

"My daughter Kieran said reading your book made her feel smart!" The child within me wanted to simultaneously jump for joy and break into tears. 
However, since the adult me was sitting at a coffee shop in Victoria, Texas, meeting Kathleen Grones, a reporter for the Victoria Advocate, I squelched that notion and went on pretending to be the grown-up author she was supposed to be interviewing.

Kieran's comment resonated in me in a way that only an adult who was made to feel "not smart” as a child would understand. As a five year old first grade student I was made to feel dumb by a teacher.  Her opinion labeled me in my own mind, and in the minds of other children and teachers, and shaded my entire school experience. 

It was not until college that I realized I was not a dunce. My first clue came in the mail. It was an acceptance letter to the University of Florida, from which I graduated with a PR degree. Not bad for a girl whose first grade teacher assigned her a "D" in citizenship, and who was placed in the slow reading group.

  Suzy Hobbs Baker,Executive Director of
        PopAtomic Studios, 
the parent organization
for the Nuclear Literacy Project. 
Recently, I received an e-mail from Suzanne Hobbs Baker, Executive Director at PopAtomic Studios, informing me that Nuclear Power: How a Nuclear Power Plant ReallyWorks! had been listed as recommended reading on the premier posting of the Nuclear Literacy Project's website. Needless to say, it felt good.

There was the so-called "dumb" girl's book right alongside books written by some really smart authors and nuclear experts, including Gwyneth Cravens' The Power to Save the World, and Terrestrial Energy by William Tucker.  

Although being victimized by education bullies did not make my life easy, it has made life interesting and infused a passion within me that might not otherwise exist.

This is why I have a deep appreciation for professionals and educators who provide information in a format that even us "dummies" will understand.

That is what the folks at the Nuclear Literacy Project are doing. This past year, the nuclear industry took the heat for the devastation and destruction caused by horrible natural events that led to the Fukushima nuclear disaster. 

After the incident, anything nuclear - including my children's book - became an easy target for anti-nuclear bullies predicting doom and assigning blame.

My Facebook page was bombarded with photos and comments intended to make me appear irresponsible for writing a children's book on nuclear power. Once again, I felt like that first grade child who had received a "D" in citizenship, until members of the Nuclear Literacy Project came to my rescue.

The organization is composed of a diverse group of thinkers from a variety of backgrounds who recognize the gaps in nuclear education and are striving to bridge them.

They shared accurate and factual information on my Facebook pages that helped distinguish fact from fiction and they did it in a way that my non-technical audience could understand. That is the genius of the Nuclear Literacy Project. It strives to provide education without humiliation or condemnation.  It is with much admiration and appreciation for the Nuclear Literacy Project that I say thank you for what you are doing and congratulations on your website:

May you continue to make children of all ages feel smart!

The Nutcracker Publishing Company is pleased to be associated with The Nuclear Literacy Project and would like to thank them for supporting our efforts to educate young children about nuclear power plants. To learn more about The Nuclear Literacy Project and their history of successful outreach please go to Nutcracker Publishing Company/The Nuclear Literacy Project.