The Koko and Friends Project was birthed as a result of my then eight-year-old daughter attempting suicide due to the bullying she faced at school. My search for age-appropriate resources to help undo the damage and restore her self-esteem was unsuccessful. I had to do something to save my child!
My ”Aha” moment came when I discovered that she absolutely hated bugs. We began making up stories about a family of young orphaned bugs who were being bullied by the house bugs who lived upstairs because they lived in the infamous basement under the water heater, and they had big dreams of becoming All-Star basketball players. My daughter intermediately connected with the bullied bugs and I was able to enter her world, see things through her eyes, and help restore her broken heart.
Koko and his cousins are not superheroes with superpowers. They are underdogs experiencing the ups and downs of 6-to-10 year-old children in the bug world. Although they were mistreated by every other bug in their environment, they refused to allow anyone to break their spirits or kill their dreams. They are symbolic of the 21st century youth in the target age group and the “war cry of resiliency” – Never, ever, give up!
As parents, we not only want our children to survive bullying, we want them to be able to “roll with the punches” and thrive socially and emotionally in any peer-group settings. We also want them to know how we expect them to behave in peer group settings whether they think we'll find out or not.
The Koko and Friends Animated Products are a catalyst for awareness, change, and saving lives. Our storylines address many of the social challenges children face in their school settings such as cyberbullying, negative peer pressure, relating to special needs peers, and value-based decision making. These issues impact children across all educational, cultural, and socio-economic strata. Every child should feel safe, accepted, and included.
Clara Denise West, Ph.D.
Creator, Owner, Mom
Bullying among children in the target market is a serious global problem that is rampant, widespread, and pervasive with negative and sometimes fatal consequences. Children can be cruel. It's up to us to equip them with the social and emotional skill sets they need to act, interact, and react appropriately in peer group settings.
Koko and Friends is committed to producing animated videos, books, and feature films to reach 6-to-10 year-olds with positive messages and impart problem-solving, coping, choices and consequences, and self-regulation skills before bullying and group exclusion lead to thoughts of suicide or violence.
Koko and Friends is about saving lives!
Koko and Friends
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