A first book of its kind by author Harry E. Pacheco “Gladys Glasses” is being introduced in Give Every Child a Chance after school tutoring classes to help stem the tide in the bullying of young elementary school students.
GECAC CEO Carol Davis said she sees the effort as a great partnership between the author and the tutoring being accomplished by her volunteers coming from vast numbers of citizens from retired educators and business professionals to the concerned people at home in the communities from Manteca and Ripon to Tracy.
She purchased 30 of his hardbound books to be used in conjunction with the after school tutoring programs throughout the South County.
“This is a great partnership and we are looking forward to his next book coming out,” Davis said. “I am very impressed with the graphics and the illustrations done by Phil Villaneuva. “The illustrations are nearly half of what sold me on the book.”
The author said he would like to partner with the tutoring non-profit facility with every new book he publishes, supporting the 4,000 tutored children at its 49 sites.
Pacheco noted that in the 15- to 24-year-old age group, bullying is the third leading cause of death in suicides and the fifth cause of death for those five to 14 years old according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. He also noted that the book was inspired by his 7-year-old daughter, second grader Naomi, who has been bullied because of her glasses.
The Give Every Child a Chance CEO said the book will help children understand they are not different, they are actually just normal. “We already do an intensive anti-bullying program,” Davis said.
She explained her use of a 3-inch blank piece of note paper that she tears for each bullying charge: ugly, fat, short, tall, making a tear half way through the note pad sheet. Then in her example, she lays the paper flat, smoothing out the tears. She explains that while the charges from other children are minimized when she smoothes out the torn piece of paper, the creases are still there as they will psychologically remain in a person’s memory for years.
The author said he will devote a portion of his time on a monthly basis to visit the GECAC sites in the south county every month.