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Children Are Always My Inspiration

Tamera Foley, Ph.D. Author Interview

Cassie’s Big Change: Going from the Living Room to the Classroom follows a young girl who is learning to write a story in her class and learning to express her feelingsWhat was the inspiration for your story?

The inspiration for the book was seeing children around the world missing the social interaction with peers in their classroom and school. I believe we need to allow children to express their feelings and continue to encourage them to use their voices. It was important for children to have hope that things could be back to normal with the support of teachers, family, and friends.

Many children also experience difficulty transitioning back to school. We know that many children had multiple mental health issues in the height of the pandemic and school provides a safe place. This is where they can get services and resources.

Children’s mental health and social-emotional health must be a priority for families, schools, and the nation. 

Children are always my inspiration to help make a difference in their lives and others.

The art in this book is fantastic. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Gaurav Bhatnagar?

Gaurav and I worked well together, going back and forth. I gave him detailed instructions. We also met via Zoom when he needed help understanding. We are still working together on projects now.

What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?

It was important that I told the story from Cassie’s perspective. It was also important that children were able to share their feelings and have adults who supported them. I wanted them to know that it was crucial, to be honest with themselves and others. It was my goal to incorporate social-emotional learning in every Cassie book.

What is the next book in Cassie’s Big Change Series you are working on, and when will it be available?

I am actually working on two books and don’t know which one will be published first. I probably will publish one later this year.

Author Links: Facebook | Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Cassie has been learning on a laptop at home due to COVID-19 but once again, things are changing. Vaccines are available and infection rates are declining, allowing schools to reopen. Going back into the school building means that Cassie, her family, and friends must readjust once more; while some things are the same, other things have permanently changed.

In this second installment of the Cassie’s Big Change series, Cassie and her crew transition from learning on the computer at home to once again sharing the educational experience in the classroom. Peek in on the first days back in the building, how COVID changed life for Cassie and her friends, and the tools their teachers give them to manage their thoughts and feelings during this big change.
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