Rainbow Fox launched in Bendigo

Rainbow Fox launched in Bendigo

Communities for Children Bendigo and the Centre for Non Violence partnered with Kids’ Own Publishing to run a series of creative workshops with children in Bendigo in which a beautiful book, Rainbow Fox, was produced.  The workshops were held at Lightning Reef Early Learning Centre, with forty two kindergarten children.  Facilitated and guided by Kids’ Own artist Kathy Holowko, children wrote and illustrated charming story which reflects themes of gender equity, diversity and respectful friendships.

 

The book reflects the children’s own experiences and stories, through the workshops the children developed the three quirky characters and the storyline.  These children produced all the unique and beautiful artwork to tell a story about Rosie the fox, Percia the duck and T Rex the dinosaur, their individual strengths and how they come together to defy stereotypes.

 

Children have ideas about gender stereotypes formed at an early age and this can influence their thinking and expectations of what a boy or a girl can do, what they can and should wear and their future aspirations of what they can achieve in their lives.  This book will support parents and early years professionals to talk with children about gender equity and respectful relationships, and explore diversity and difference through the characters.  The story has examples of how gender stereotypes are challenged.

 

Robyn Trainor, from the Centre for Non Violence, says “gender stereotypes are recognised as a key driver of violence against women and their children.   Education and role modelling are key to challenging rigid gender stereotypes and norms within childhood.  As demonstrated in the story, children are already thinking about gender stereotypes and norms and these children have written a story that challenges gender stereotypes.  We need to continue to capture children’s voices and experiences to ensure that every child aspires to and achieves their full potential, regardless of gender.  This book provides a model for talking about gender equity and respectful relationships with children and we hope that this project is the first of many more collaborations and partnerships in the Early Years sector.”

 

This collaborative project was developed as part of the implementation of the Communities for Children Early Years Family Violence Action Plan for Bendigo, a partnership between Communities for Children and Centre for Non-Violence.  Naarah Dawes (C4C Bendigo), says “Children’s voices provide perspective, knowledge and understanding different to adults.  We recognise the need to place children front and centre in any efforts to address family violence and the key role early childhood professionals play in creating gender equitable environments.  This project provides a model to demonstrate children’s participation through out every stage of the process, it is about children’s contribution; their voice can influence program design.”

 

Rainbow Fox was launched as part of the Write on the Fringe Festival (an accompaniment to the Bendigo Writers Festival) at the Bendigo Library on Friday 11 August.  The book is currently available for purchase from the Centre for Non-Violence phone (03) 5430 3000 and will shortly be available via the Kids’ Own Publishing website.

http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/4849716/book-to-help-outfox-gender-inequality-photos/#slide=18