Wednesday, September 19, 2018

A Twenty-Year Project Culminates in a Kickstarter Campaign for a Children’s Character Education Book Series Fostering Self-Esteem and Core Values

Children will find new friends in the Communication Animals, stars of the new Character Education Heroes Series. Fara the Convincing Fox, Eddie the Supporting Elephant, and others will inspire kids to have positive self-esteem, practice effective communication, and cultivate core values.

“Children have been the focus of my life’s work, and I am passionate about giving them the tools to make good life decisions, communicate effectively, and be good problem solvers. When they are taught the curriculum, many elementary-age students can identify communication styles just as well as my former law students,” explains Dr. Tamara A. Fackrell, author of the series.

Dr. Fackrell has a PhD in marriage, family, and human development and is also an award-winning attorney-mediator who has been practicing in the family law arena for over twenty years. A popular keynote speaker for workshops and national conferences, Dr. Fackrell focuses on effective communication and conflict resolution in relationships. During her time as a professor at the J. Reuben Clark Law School, she broke down the concepts of complex problem solving for her law students. One day, she had an aha moment: if she could break these concepts down to their simplest forms, she could teach them to children.

Dr. Fackrell developed the six Communication Animals to teach problem-solving methods in a simple way, and she began presenting the curriculum in the classrooms of her own six children. She also received a grant to support undergraduate and law students in teaching the curriculum to thousands of youth throughout Utah. Many children are able to recall all six Communication Animals after just one lesson.

After a twenty-year journey, Dr. Fackrell’s dream is coming true: her curriculum will be available in book form for every child to have at home. She and her creative team, illustrator Rylee Witbeck and designer Celeste Tuttle, have been collaborating to create an unforgettable adventure for each child. The books are interactive, with a treasure hunt and engaging illustrations on every page. Most importantly, each book includes an individualized character-building plan, so children can develop specific strategies for their needs.

The goal of the series is for children to identify their own natural communication style and then to integrate the positive traits of the other five styles when appropriate. The book series also gives parents, children, and teachers terms to use when talking about problem solving and communication—terms such as self-soothing, ghost conflicts, and the listening pattern. Studies show that children who learn social skills when young have better well-being as adults across multiple domains such as education, employment, and mental health.

Dr. Fackrell has launched a funding campaign on Kickstarter to raise funds through pre-orders of the books for the printing of the first three books of the series.  Parents and teachers from around the world are being welcomed to participate in this campaign by making generous pledges and donations to make a difference for children around the world.

The website is The Kickstarter Campaign is located on the web at


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