©2019 by Martin Roberts Foundation.

 

Teaching Resources

Tackling childhood sadness through the medium of a storybook.

Giving a FREE copy of the Sadsville Book to every Year 4 child (8/9 years) across the country will help children struggling with emotional problems (or who may face mental challenges in the future) in a number of ways:

2. THE BOOK CONTAINS A SIMPLE 'SELF HELP GUIDE'

At the end of the story, the book offers some simple guidance to a child if they are feeling sad for any reason. It defines ‘Sad’ as being either ‘Good Sad’ or ‘Bad Sad’ and explains that ‘Good Sad’ is often a passing feeling but ‘Bad Sad’ is more serious and a child experiencing this should seek help. This concept is explored more fully in the accompanying Assembly / Lesson Plan that is being

distributed to schools alongside the books.

“Reaching out to children with emotional problems

through the medium of a story book."

3. THE BOOK GENTLY POINTS THE WAY TO THE NSPCCC CHILDLINE SERVICE AND OTHER ORGANISATIONS

At the back of the book there is a call to action to the NSPCC’s Childline number and website. This raises awareness of this invaluable service. Unlike a simple flyer or handout, Sadsville being a book will have longevity and serve as a reminder of this service for a child for many years to come.

Similarly, the Directory of other organisations that specifically target children and young people raises awareness of the existence of these and guides both child and parent to how to reach them.

4. THE BOOK CAN ACT AS A CATALYST FOR DISCUSSION ABOUT WHY CHILDREN MAY BE FEELING SAD

The Sadsville Campaign wants to encourage whole school or classroom discussions about feeling sad and invite children to think about what they can do if they are. Alongside the book itself, all schools receive an assembly / lesson plan with accompanying worksheets to help teachers introduce the topic of sadness and

the Sadsville book in the classroom.
 

As John Cameron, Head of Childline explained, when Childline was first set up most of the calls coming in related to neglect and physical or sexual abuse. Nowadays, the calls are relating to mental health issues and often children don’t have anyone to talk to. Thanks to disparate families, busy lives and the constant interruptions of

iphones & tablets etc, the conversation about ‘How you day went?” over the dinner table doesn’t happen. Some children are very isolated and don’t have anyone to talk to about the issues and challenges they are facing.