New York – In an effort to reach an even larger audience, a highly lauded children’s book aimed at opening up the conversation between parents and children about personal safety in a friendly and fun manner goes high-tech in a downloadable, read aloud, video format.
Let’s Stay Safe! a 32 page hardcover picture book geared toward young children that discusses general safety topics as well as stranger danger and child safety/abuse prevention, was released by ArtScroll almost a year and a half ago and sold more than 19,000 copies.
“We wanted parents to have even better access to child safety tools,” explained Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, founder and director of Project YES, as well as an outspoken advocate on preventing child abuse for over a decade — long before it was socially acceptable to discuss this sensitive subject in our community. “We created a digital child safety product so that anyone in the world can download it effortlessly and share it with their children.”
While the suggested donation for the video download is five dollars it can be downloaded for as little one cent.
“We want this to be in every Jewish home,” explained Rabbi Horowitz. “We don’t want money to be a barrier to people who wish to share these important lessons with their children.”
Below Video: Let’s Stay Safe! Short Video Sample
The print version of the book has been extremely well received since its release, according to Rabbi Horowitz, who says dozens of people have contacted him, crediting Let’s Stay Safe! with saving their children from actual real-life abuse situations.
“I was doing a parenting workshop in Flatbush a few months after the book came out and a woman who saw signs in the street for the workshop came in. She told the parents in the room how she had been in Eichler’s (a popular local Judaica store) shopping for a Chanukah party when she saw the book, brought it home and read it to her children,” recalled Rabbi Horowitz. “At the very same Chanukah party a great uncle started fondling her six year old daughter. Having read the book, the girl looked at the great uncle calmly, and told him he was making her uncomfortable and then ran to get her mother — exactly what the book’s suggests.
A Yiddish version of the print book is expected to be out shortly and a Hebrew version of Let’s Stay Safe! is in the planning stages as well. The illustrations are being modified to fit the communities so that the children will feel comfortably at home with the book. Rabbi Horowitz hasn’t ruled out the possibility of releasing a downloadable read aloud version of the book in Yiddish as well if there is enough community interest.
The video is a project of the Karasick Child Safety Initiative of Project YES, the book was authored by Bracha Goetz, illustrated by Tova Leff and is geared toward young children.