The lack of friendship affects everything. Every child needs a friend and everyone matters.
Furry: The Little Penguins That Could was written to teach about friendship, acceptance, and inclusion. By sharing Mac’s story and it’s accompanying curriculum with children through their schools, communities and families perhaps ripples will emerge to create honest acceptance and help prevent bullying. By teaching understanding, we hope to alleviate the loneliness and trauma children with differences face in their lives.
Miracles happened in a Little Town That Would, at the The Little School That Could when a extraordinary little boy entered Kindergarten. The boy’s name is Mac. He is a real boy with many challenges, and hidden strengths. Mac’s class was called the Penguin Kindergarten and his teacher; Mrs. C was an incredible teacher with patience, perception, passion, play and persistence. Teacher loves children, stuffies, penguins, and science. Special needs children need creative teachers like Mrs. C. who empowered a little boy with special needs to find his voice, understanding and real inclusion. We talk inclusion and a real classroom stuffed penguin, became a tool to teach inclusion.
Teacher believes in possibilities, child development and education. Mac lives with over 110 diagnoses and health issues including fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), autism spectrum disorders (ASD), a chromosome duplication, motor dyskinesia and a very rare genetic deletion (only 25 known cases). In other words, this little guy is medically complex and needs to learn very differently. In addition, his eyes, ears and sensory systems struggle to work when he wants them to. That means the more he tries the more he can’t.
In Kindergarten, Teacher used a little Stuffie penguin. The incredible, yet simple, birthed something that needed to be shared with the whole world. Mac’s mom, Ann Yurcek, the author of Furry: The Little Penguins That Could and her friend Jodee Kulp, the illustrator and executive director of Better Endings New Beginnings joined forces to create, Furry: The Little Penguins That Could and it’s curriculum.
When Mac participates in his community, kids greet Mac. Mac is just Mac. Mac’s normal is accepted as normal for Mac and his friends care and understand Mac just how he is.
Miracles do happen as a penguin becomes an Emotional Support Partner teaching positive perception of all children with endless possibilities in 30 shared reading chapters.