Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Lack Of Resiliency Is The Cause Of School Violence Says Kasey Crawford Kellem, Author Of ‘Believe’

Kasey Crawford Kellem, founder of Mind Over Matter Books, offers children’s books that teach children coping skills to deal with bullying, anxiety, depression, divorce and more

Resiliency is defined as the ability to overcome or rebound from adversity, challenges or other issues. Our children must deal with many challenges – bullying, divorce, abuse, death of family members or friends, depression and a host of other issues. Many are not prepared to face these challenges. Kasey Crawford Kellem, author, school counselor and founder of Mind Over Matter Books, hopes to help children better prepare for life challenges through her series of children’s books, specifically written for pre-schoolers.

“A lack of resiliency,” Kellem stated,” has been the direct cause of increased school violence and shootings. We need only to look closely at incidents that occurred in which a person intentionally shot innocent students, teachers and/or staff members. After each shooting or massacre, it was reported that each offender had faced some form of adversity in his life.”

April 20, 1999:  Columbine High School, Columbine, Colorado:  Eric Harris, 18, helped kill 12 students and one teacher, and wounded 21 others before committing suicide. The son of an Air Force pilot, Harris moved around several times as a child. The adversities faced: Grief (homes, friends, schools)

March 21, 2005: Red Lake Senior High School, Red Lake, Minnesota: Jeffrey Weise, 16,  killed his grandfather and his grandfather's girlfriend at their home. along with seven people on the high school campus. Weise was living with relatives who helped him get treatment to deal with his behavioral issues and depression after his mother suffered severe brain damage in a car accident and his father had committed suicide.  The adversities faced: Disease, disability and death.

2008: Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois: Steven Kazmierczak killed five people and injured another twenty-one, before committing suicide.   In high school he was treated temporarily for mental illness, reported "unruly" at home and was bullied in high school. His mother died in Lakeland, Florida in September 2006 from  Lou Gehrig’s disease. The adversities faced: Bullying, disease and death.

January 5, 2011:  Millard South High School:  Robert Butler Jr., 18, shot and killed the Assistant Principal,wounded the Principal  and then fatally shot himself. In the expletive-laced rant, Butler, who had been at the school for only two months after moving from Lincoln, Neb., wrote that the new city and the new school had changed him. The adversity faced: Grief (new school, home, friends)

February 27, 2012: Chardon High School, Chardon, Ohio: Thomas "T.J." Lane, 17, killed 3 students and injured 3 others. T.J. grew up with domestic violence  with his father eventually serving time in jail for assault. T.J. was later raised with several other step-siblings by his grandparents. The adversities faced: Divorce, abuse.

December 14, 2012: Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, Connecticut. 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally killed his mother and then shot twenty children and six adult staff members.  He then took his own life with one of the handguns as police arrived at the school.  The troubled boy was a target of relentless bullying when he attended the Connecticut school years ago.The adversities faced: Divorce, disease, bullying

Mind Over Matter (M.O.M.) Books are geared towards preschoolers to introduce them to resiliency skills. Children must be prepared with the right tools to face the challenges, adversity and obstacles that may become a part of their lives. There are five books emphasizing the important factors for resiliency:


Each book shows, through whimsical illustrations and simple wording, how to be resilient. Children will learn to:

BELIEVE in their possibilities,
LOVE the people, animals and experiences they encounter,
LAUGH at playful experiences,
RELAX creatively, and
DREAM pleasant thoughts.

The books are also designed to be decorations in a child’s bedroom or playroom on bookshelves, nightstands, or desks, which will serve as constant resiliency reinforcement.

“Though we are all born with the innate capacity for resilience,” Kellem continued, “some people do not gain the necessary skills to fully adapt. Therefore, children need to be taught at early ages the qualities that foster successful adaptation and transformation despite risk and adversity. These characteristics include: social competence, problem-solving skills, critical consciousness, autonomy and a sense of purpose. Several factors contribute to resiliency including caring relationships, high expectations and opportunities for meaningful participation.  Individuals missing these factors tend to become the perpetrators of such unnecessary school crimes.”

Kasey Crawford Kellem is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at mindovermatterbooks@gmail.com. More information is available at the Mind Over Matter Books website. The first two books in the series, ‘Believe’ and ‘Love’ are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and at Halo Publishing International. More information is available at Kellem’s website at http://www.MindOverMatterBooks.com.

About Kasey Crawford Kellem:

Kasey Crawford Kellem is the author of Believe and the creator of Mind Over Matter Books. She has been a high school guidance counselor in Parma, Ohio for the past 13 years. Prior to that she taught special education in an Olmsted Falls elementary school and at Brooklyn Middle School where she was also a guidance counselor.

She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education (Special Ed/Elementary Ed), a Masters in Education (Special Ed) and an Educational Specialist Degree (School Counseling).

She specialized in researching what makes children resilient while pursuing her ED.S. degree.  Still having the interest and drive to help children become resilient, she decided to write children’s books, which would also serve as motivational decorations for their bedroom or playroom. The books, which are aimed for pre-schoolers, are titled: ‘Believe’, ‘Laugh’, ‘Relax’;’ Love’, and ‘Dream’.


Kasey Crawford Kellem