Diane Davies offers two Inspirational programs for young readers and writers. Using her popular and award winning Life in the Neck New Friends, Davies continues to visit schools, relating to the children with unmatched warmth and responsiveness. As Davies reads her story, she introduces the students to facts about the animals living in the forests of Minnesota. She pays special attention to vocabulary and character trait development. The story message deals with cooperation, friendship and applying the “Golden Rule” to both. Davies engages the students in a game of “Who Am I”, a character trait challenge, followed by a Q & A regarding being an author.
Jeannie Ann’s Grandma Has Breast Cancer, another of Davies award winning children’s books, is used by Davies to lead discussions in more of a retreat setting. Learning that a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer is difficult at any age. When we are in the midst of this medical challenge, we as adults sometimes forget that children have a hard time with this as well. Fears, questions, emotions and misunderstandings have a way of affecting us all. As Davies reads Jeannie Ann’s story, she builds a trusting relationship with those listening. Stopping often to draw in her audience, she is able through her seriousness of purpose and yet light-hearted humor to make an impact. Following the reading, Davies asks the participants to interact in some way with the story whether it be through drawing, writing, music or pantomime. These are then shared within the group setting. Davies combines her knowledge of children and her personal cancer experience to provide a resource that can facilitate discussions about cancer with children. She also provides useful suggestions about how to engage with children and help them participate in the cancer journey.