Bragg Creek resident conducts crowdfunding campaign for children’s book

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A Bragg Creek resident is spearheading a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the publication of a children’s book she wrote that focuses on the topics of sustainability and environmental responsibility.

A Bragg Creek resident is spearheading a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the publication of a children’s book she wrote that focuses on the topics of sustainability and environmental responsibility.

Naomi Terner, a former teacher with the Calgary Board of Education, first penned The Puzzle in 2015 and has since been working on bringing the project to fruition with the help of illustrator Estelle Vallée.

According to Terner, to finally turn the page on the last chapter of her book after years of hard work has felt like quite the accomplishment. She added she is eager to get her book into the hands of young readers this fall with the help of Kickstarter – a global crowdfunding platform that emphasizes creativity.

“[Kickstarter] is a great way to get the book into the hands of children and families,” she said, adding there will be several lesson plans and activities available to tie in with the story. “Families can sit down together after reading it and engage in dialogue.”

While the book is ready for publication and a printer has already been selected, Terner and her team need to raise $7,000 prior to Aug. 12 in order for the campaign to be successful. As of July 28, they have raised $4,917 towards their goal, with supporters contributing pledges in exchange for “rewards” such as a hardcopy of the book, a PDF colouring book, 300-piece puzzle, or custom digital artwork.

“If we reach the target, then we’re able to ship everyone their books and rewards,” she said. “If we don’t reach it, then the campaign kind of closes down and we will find another avenue to make it happen.

“But we’re very confident that we will be able to [reach the goal] with everyone’s support and we feel there’s a necessity in the times we’re living that we need to have this conversation about putting the earth at the centre of our decisions and coming together.”

Terner said she began The Puzzle as a way to help facilitate conversations with young people about the state of the planet in a child-centered way.

RR-ThePuzzle2The Puzzle is a children’s book that focuses on approaching topics of sustainability and climate change in a child-centred way. Submitted/For Rocky View Weekly

“It allows the child to be able to engage because obviously children have questions about what is happening to earth and how we can participate in helping our planet,” she said. “We can be uplifted through a story to feel that there is a solution and we need to come together to make it happen.”

The story revolves around a boy named Liam who is gifted an old box from his parents. Inside the box are puzzle pieces that when placed together depict the earth. Liam soon discovers the puzzle is broken and is missing several pieces. He embarks on a journey with his dad to complete the puzzle and find the missing pieces, discovering the power and necessity of cooperation along the way.

“The puzzle seemed to be a great way to bring [the topic] to a child because if you can imagine you’re a child and you’re gifted a puzzle and the puzzle is missing even one piece, you would almost feel like you want to do something to find it and to complete it,” Terner said. “There’s that satisfaction when you put all the pieces together in a puzzle.

“So, it’s taking the big topic of what we’re facing together as a planet, but bringing it down to the level of a child.”

Since resigning from her previous position as a teacher, Terner said she and her husband have co-founded an organization called SHAPE, which stands for sustainable, happy, and prosperous earth. Through SHAPE, Terner and her team are implementing a new model of education with a focus on a healthy state of mind, relationships, and planet (or the three Hs).

“We’re devising this education model but at the same time, I’m developing education material to support it,” she said, adding The Puzzle supports this initiative. “I see that there is a real necessity for education that addresses…climate challenge and how we can live well with each other and the environment.

“This is the most pressing need of our time.”

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