How a Temple University student wrote her own Children’s book to help kids handle the COVID-19 pandemic
The Temple senior wanted to be able to answer the children she took care of when they came with concerns surrounding the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected billions around the world.
But along with the adults, many forget that children who also endured the confusion and anxiety that plagued the world this past year.
With that in mind, Tamika Lesha, a senior at Temple University, decided to write about how children could take their experiences during the past year, and use them to make the world a better place.
“The inspiration behind it came about when I was nannying the children expressed to me that they became confused and overwhelmed with what was going on in the world,” Lesha told AL DÍA News in a recent interview.
The children who Lesha was nannying had so many questions, but she did not exactly have the words to tell them what was going on in the world.
“It is not easy to answer all of them but I do think that [it’s] important to explain the complexities of the world versus. their positions in life, whether it is physically, socioeconomically, mentally,” she said. “Age or gender is not a reflection of the amount of impact they can have in changing the world.”
The book she wrote, Do My Part, talks about teaching children the ways that they can take part in making the world a better place in their communities and everyday lives.
“I actually started with the cover illustration. I started to draw the characters first because i want to visualize who I was writing about,” said Lesha.
In the process, she was drawn to writing such a potentially impactful book, and completed it in one day.
“I wrote the actual story as a poem in the beginning,” said Lesha.
She also wanted to make sure that her book can touch the hearts of children of all genders, disabilities, ethnicities, and backgrounds.
“I wanted all the characters to be inclusive, from all different types of communities so children can see their own representation and be inspired by that,” she explained.
To further that message, none of the characters have names.
“Whether it is from African-American communities, African communities, Asian-communities, or children with disabilities, this book is for all,” said Lesha.
There are also different religious communities displayed in the book.
Lesha expressed how vital it is to have open conversations with children about the different events that are happening, not only the COVID-19 pandemic, but other challenging events.
“Now is the perfect time to talk about this book and read this book to children because of all that happened this year,” said Lesha.
The Schuykill County native, who has been a caretaker for four years, truly misses the children she helped raise.
“With the pandemic happening, it is difficult to work with the children I have been working with for so long, I think that creating the book for them is a way for me to stay connected to them because those children are like family to me,” said Lesha.
The young author is just getting started with her writing endeavor.
“This is definitely the beginning. I am super excited to write more.”
Her book, Do My Part, is available online on Barnes and Noble’s website.
“Each day that you are alive, you have the chance to make the world a better place,” said Lesha. “Do your part, even when there is nobody watching.”