Kids Become Story Creators at the Shy Shelly Cebu Tour

Children can create their own kid-power story — a story that shows that they can solve problems and make a difference in the world. When I wrote Shy Shelly a few years ago, I wanted to help kids be courageous. At their young age, I know that they can already help people and speak up on what is right. As a kid, there were times that I hesitated to make brave choices against bullying or peer pressure, and that's why through kid-power stories, I hope to give children a voice.

During the Shy Shelly Book Tour in Cebu last Feb 19-21, 2017, I was able to visit four cities (Cebu City, Mandaue, Talisay, Lapu-Lapu) and share with over 400 children the struggles I faced as an elementary student — the real story that led me to write the Shy Shelly series. And then, through a workshop called How to Create Kid-Power Stories, I was able to teach the kids to turn their problems into their own kid-power story. I had an amazing time listening to the kid-power stories authored by the children themselves!

One of the stories I heard was from Nica, a fifth-grader from River of Praise in Talisay, Cebu. After our workshop, she shared that she wants to create a hero who can stop bullies. In tears she said, this hero would end all the teasing in school. You could see that the story meant so much to her. It was something she wished would happen in real life. We temporarily named her hero Super Nica. 

Here's Nica from River of Praise School, sharing who her child hero is.

Here's Nica from River of Praise School, sharing who her child hero is.

At Marie Ernestine School in Lapu-Lapu City, Fourth-grader Sonny Boy volunteered to be a story creator. He came up with a hero who is failing in Math and who desperately wants to get an A+. His hero studies hard but his friend Sanz, wants to cheat from him! The hero becomes afraid that Sanz would tell everyone not to be friends with him anymore if he doesn't allow him to copy his test answers. To give the story a powerful ending, Sonny Boy enlisted the help of two other classmates, Zoe and Nina, to become his co-creators. They huddled to think about what Sonny Boy's hero should do. In the end, this storytelling trio made their hero stand up to Stand by saying, "Sanz, I will not let you cheat, even if you're my friend, and that's it!" It was a simple and honest ending. With Sonny Boy's permission, we named his hero Sonny Boy too. 

Here's Sonny Boy, the first story creator volunteer.

Here's Sonny Boy, the first story creator volunteer.

L-R: Nina, Sonny Boy and Zoe from Marie Ernestine School

L-R: Nina, Sonny Boy and Zoe from Marie Ernestine School

Story after story, I witnessed the young creators wanting children to overcome pain and problems. A fourth-grader from Mandaue Christian School created a hero whose wish was to stop his parents from moving to separate planets, Venus and Mars. The hero would do everything in his power to show that Earth was their real home.

A sixth-grader from Talisay, Cebu also shared about a hero who gets lost in a mall during a time of violence in the streets, while another student created a kid missionary hero who shares the Gospel despite persecution.

The young story-creators I met in Cebu were courageous kids, and I know that their stories spoke to their school mates. Kid-power stories remind children that they aren't alone in their struggles, and empower them to do what is good, noble and pure. There are gazillion kid-power stories waiting to be unleashed and I hope to help more children tell their heroic stories in the next Shy Shelly tour!

 

Happy Art: Collectible-cute Kokoru with Ash Españo

"Happy Birthday to you…” It was time for my friend to blow the candle on her dainty cupcake. She received no ordinary cupcake. Everyone in our Bible study small group oohed and aahed around it—strips of color-corrugated paper were rolled and glued together to form a darling cupcake— a labor of love and a work of creative genius.  It was the kind of art that made your eyes twinkle and your heart flutter. 

Everyone in our group requested for our own paper craft  made by our friend Ash Españo. Because Kokoru is collectible-cute! You just gotta have it in your hands! And so I’d like to share the art of my friend Ash. Hopefully, it also inspires you to take on a #papercraft project. 

Ash started making kokoru when her supervisor asked her to make something for the manager's birthday. While hanging out in a bookstore, which is Ash's Friday hobby, she discovered a kokoru stand with a display of Japanese kokoru dolls. She ended up making a sweet spread of Kokoru cupcakes for her manager.

Ash started making kokoru when her supervisor asked her to make something for the manager's birthday. While hanging out in a bookstore, which is Ash's Friday hobby, she discovered a kokoru stand with a display of Japanese kokoru dolls. She ended up making a sweet spread of Kokoru cupcakes for her manager.

Starting with Chinese dolls, Ash now experiments with different designs! Here's Sadness from Inside Out!

Starting with Chinese dolls, Ash now experiments with different designs! Here's Sadness from Inside Out!

Little Mermaid is one of the easiest Kokorus to make, says Ash.

Little Mermaid is one of the easiest Kokorus to make, says Ash.

Our fave classic Disney-duo Mickey & Minnie!

Our fave classic Disney-duo Mickey & Minnie!

The paper craft power of Pooh and Sailormoon

The paper craft power of Pooh and Sailormoon

"As early as 6 years old, kids can start making Kokoru," says Ash who has been teaching her niece and her boss's daughter how to make Kokoru. "Kids can start with minions first."

"As early as 6 years old, kids can start making Kokoru," says Ash who has been teaching her niece and her boss's daughter how to make Kokoru. "Kids can start with minions first."

Ash also made me my very own kokoru!

Ash also made me my very own kokoru!

Yup. She made me a Shy Shelly kokoru! 

Yup. She made me a Shy Shelly kokoru! 

Ash says Shy Shelly was the hardest design to do because she had to convey shyness in the character's expression. I think she did a super job!

Ash says Shy Shelly was the hardest design to do because she had to convey shyness in the character's expression. I think she did a super job!

Of course there was a Huey Louie kokoru!

Of course there was a Huey Louie kokoru!

Here's Ash with her kokoru collection. 

Here's Ash with her kokoru collection. 

Get started with your happy art project today!

Learn how to make an Angel with Kokoru! Fun, simple, and easy! Visit our website at: http://www.covenantdigital.com/