Breck Books Project - our new SEN resources
Updated: Oct 9, 2020
Two years ago, I was summoned to attend some online safety training at the school where I work. Great, I thought. Another hour of my time taken up after a full day of teaching. I was preparing mentally to have to repeat to my students the ‘Don’t talk to strangers’ mantra. I sat through the presentation given by the Breck Foundation and it turned out to be the most world-rocking training I’ve ever experienced. This was my first experience of hearing Breck’s story.
The story hit me to my very core and I immediately wanted to find a way that I could help the charity. The presentation I had seen was part of the first training that was being delivered for special needs students. Being in special needs education I understand that there is no one way of delivering a lesson – SEN students have varying needs. After a conversation with the trainer, I came up with some initial ideas of delivering Breck’s story in a children’s book format, rather than a PowerPoint.
I was then invited to meet Breck’s mother, Lorin LaFave, and she gave me her blessing to begin creating a picture book using the Breck story for SEN students.
As I researched further into the book I realised that I needed to create several different books for varying needs and ages. What has finally come out of it all is a brand new resource: three different books all focused on helping children understand about grooming and online safety.
First, there is ‘This is Breck’, a picture book for students with the mind-set age 4+. ‘Breck and the Online Troll’ is a picture book for students with the mind-set of age 7+. Finally there is ‘Play Virtual. Live Real’, a play for students with the mind-set of 10+.
Soon after I began the project Lorin asked me to join the Foundation as a trustee. I was honoured and am still proud that I can help this very important charity. Over my next few posts, I’ll be talking about each of the books, how I wrote them and the artists that worked with me. I hope that the books will be able to help teachers, parents and carers find a way to discuss online safety in a different way.
Breck Books Project will be published in November 2020 by Salamander Street Publishing. To find out more please send an email to email@example.com You can follow Mark Harrington’s projects on Facebook and Instagram at @harrington_projects