For children in damaged homes, sometimes the simplest things can root them and tell them they will be OK.
For Newport High School teacher Marlys Miller and her child development class of 32 students, the “fear me not” doll project was able to do that simple thing.
The students (and Miller) made little monsters with biographies to donate to LifeWire.
“The Fear Me Not dolls are little monsters, which act as support stuffed animals for little kids who have been moved around or might be scared,” Miller said.
Students named each monster (which range from teddy bears, humanoid creatures, a dolphin and an anthropomorphic heart), and listed strengths and weaknesses.
Strengths might be good listening skills or fearlessness. Something a child can use in the darkest nights.
An employee from LifeWire accepted the monsters, and shared a secret to the class. She had one of the Fear Me Not dolls when she was younger. It’s a national program.
“I gave them pretty much no direction,” Miller said. “And the results were off-the-charts creative. The heart they put into them was amazing.”
The child development class has freshmen through senior students, and Miller teaches the students about childhood from infancy through adolescence. The class does go through a domestic violence unit.
Olivia, a student in the class, said it was a practical course.
“Sometimes you come to school and shut everything out,” she said. “I look forward to this class every day. You can connect it back to your life.”