Lorraine Stocks was worried about the children of her community. After over a year of quarantining and keeping their distance, Stocks, a teacher’s assistant at George Miller Elementary School in Nanuet, was concerned what kind of effect such isolation could have on her students psyches.
“These kids must be beside themselves” lamented Stocks, who decided to channel her concern into a passion project aimed at helping children express their feelings and grapple with the negative emotions.
“Raindrops to Rainbows” tells the story of a young boy cooped up inside his house during a rainstorm. Undaunted by his inability to go outside and play, the boy scours his house for art supplies and literally makes himself a better day, drawing a bright picture of a rainbow across a clear sky. After doing so, the boy discovers that the rain has abated, and he can join his friends and family in playing outside again.
“It’s a book about seeing the world through a child’s eyes, especially during a difficult time” explained Stocks, who said that while not directly inspired by the pandemic, her work is of course relevant to the difficulties young children are encountering during the lock-down. The author was ecstatic to discover that sharing the story with her students prompted the kids to open about their own feelings. “I feel kids sometimes need to talk about everything that’s been going on,” said Stocks, “the emotional social part of growing up is not easy, it doesn’t always come naturally.”
A necessary part of that development, according to Stokes, is finding healthy cooping mechanisms. When her students feel upset or overwhelmed she encourages them to “find something that will help you turn (their) day around,” one small action that will make them feel better. It could be as simple as drawing a rainbow when your feeling trapped by bad weather.
By working with Mascot Publishing, Stocks will be able to spread that uplifting message as her book hits shelves this week. “Rain does not last forever and bad times do not last forever,” said Stocks, who hopes that her story will be another possible tool for turning around a child’s bad day.