Renna's Discoveries: Jack Cherry And the Juicer - A story to over come the Bullies

Monday, November 30, 2015

Jack Cherry And the Juicer - A story to over come the Bullies

The thought of my children being bullied in any way scares me. We all know young children say things that they don't really realise how much it will effect another child. Some take it very personally and others shrug it off. I'm obviously not talking about physical bullying, just mental bullying for now. (Because physical bullies can not just be shrugged off)
Mental bullying can really effect how a child thinks, and how they see others. It can ruin dreams and lives. It can make a child feel inadequate and that the world hates them. Bullying can seem very minor all the way up to when children don't even want to leave their own homes for the fear of being bullied.
When I was at primary school, there was a lot of name calling between the children but certainly nothing like secondary school. However I wanted to tell you about a certain Jack Cherry today. He is a character that is aimed at 7-11 years old. I took up the opportunity to review the concept behind Jack Cherry, as one of my children is 7 and I thought it would be a great opportunity to discuss these bullying issues with her. I can't say she's ever been bullied, yes, she gets upset at school, and had some issues in the past, but, she stood her ground and now I don't hear anything apart from playground issues. We are very open and she will always tell me if she has been upset and we will sit and discuss why and go over the situation.
I am aware of some children that haven't been so nice to other children though. Sometimes, it can actually be friends that bully friends, and that's really upsetting to hear about. Friends should be a team, and work together, not single one out.
Children need to be taught to be nice to one another. Children also need to be taught and learn to be confident in themselves and ignore any name calling. Yes, this is difficult, but it can be done.
Jack Cherry is here to help. He explains how bullying doesn't need to take over your life, he teaches you how to react in the correct way. Generally ignoring the bullies can be the only way to get back at them. (But we all know, this is not as easy as it sounds) so Jack is here to give you the confidence back.
Jack is 11 and has been called names at school. He has learnt that getting rid of those bad thoughts and replacing them with happy thoughts will make him a much more happier and confident person, so he is teaching his friends to do the same with The Juicer.
Jack Cherry and the Juicer is a digital comic (that can also be bought as a paper version through school programmes). The Author Simon Benn has produced books in the past for children to gain confidence and keep them occupied and safe.
Simon Benn was bullied at school, so he knows exactly what it feels like. Jack Cherry is having a bad time at school. He needs to get a presentation done for a morning assembly to show the rest of the school. He and his friends have chosen Happiness. He's having a bad day, and the friends can't seem to find the time to discuss the presentation at school, and then he hurts his arm....Its all going wrong....
A boy at school is mean, a teacher is being mean. He doesn't know what to do. He feels embarrassed, and upset. He's lost all positive thoughts. His mum tries to make him feel better by taking him to the local Juice Bar, where the staff are rude and try and serve him rotten fruit. The juice is bad with rotten fruit.... then it clicks....."Bad fruit makes bad juice, bad thoughts, make bad feelings"
He starts to feel positive again as he starts to plan the presentation for the assembly.
At the assembly he asks the children what makes them happy, and then he asks them to shout out a Happy Fruit like Positive Pear and Cheerful Cherry. Jack puts these fruit into a juicer, and explains that your brain is like a juicer, all those happy fruit thoughts , make a happy juice.
Typical Jack style, it all goes wrong and the mean boy laughs. This upsets Jack, who then tries to work out what went wrong.  
It must have been that stupid Satsuma!!! So he tries adding a Clever Coconut . He then explains, that you have to replace the bad grumpy grapes with great grapes. Replace the bad thoughts with happy thoughts, just like when someone calls you names, they want to force bad thoughts onto you, so...Put The Lid on The Juicer, and don't let those bad thoughts get in there !! Don't Listen!!

So, myself and my little lady sat and discussed what she thought of the comic. Here are her notes:
  • She really liked the front cover because it was bright and she liked the splashes because they were bright colours. She thought it was a happy cover and made her want to read on.
  • She didn't like the teacher and he scared Jack.
  • She likes the comic style of writing.
  • She really emphasised with Jack. She thought the mean boy and the teacher didn't show any understanding.
  • She wasn't happy about Jack being called names, she would not have let that happen if she saw it.
  • She also noted that the Juicer Man didn't care about Jack, so Jack was feeling sad, but it was the juicer that gave him the idea. So he turned a bad situation into a good situation because it taught Jack about the bad fruit. The bad fruit, turned into bad juices and bad thoughts that turn into bad memories.
  • Jack turned it all around and did a good presentation, but when it went wrong, he stayed strong and carried on.
  • She thought this was a good message to give to other children.
  • She said that if she was there she would have listened to Jack.
  • You have to move away from the bad situation and ignore the bad person so you can Win.
The comic is a very down to earth way about being nice to each other and how not to let bad thoughts interfere with your good thoughts.
I really enjoyed reading this with my little lady. It showed me how she would deal in a similar situation. She also told me that she would remember Jacks advice if she ever had a bad thought.

As part of the package there is also a 40 minute very interactive video that Simon Benn hosts. He explains all about the Juicer and how it works. He then asks the viewer to come up with their own happy fruits. He's a fun host and I'm sure he keep the kids engaged all throughout. My little lady really enjoyed watching and listening to him, and was shouting at the screen all these different happy fruits.  

He predominantly does workshops in schools to teach children how to stay positive, especially when people are mean or when important school work is required, like exams for example.

The video also gets them to draw a Happy Fruit and discuss what makes them happy.

After the video , there is also an activity booklet that the children can complete. It has questions, things to draw, and shows them how to draw faces along with many other activities.

So, my conclusion is that Jack Cherry is definitely something that every school should be a part of.
For schools, Simon can actually visit your school to discuss the Juicer ideas. This is the same as the video presentation. Each child will then get a comic and activity booklet as part of the package. The presentation is free, but the comics and booklets are chargeable. Schools can also use the video instead, and this is something that can be discussed with Simon.

I really recommend Jack Cherry to give your children positive thoughts and to keep those nasty bad thoughts at bay.

Nothing will ever stop bullies from starting, but the situation can be stopped.

Do have a look at Jack Cherry on his website, I really believe this is something all schools need to look into and help create more positive children at school and at home. As a parent, if you love this idea, why don't you pitch it to the school, or the school PTA to purchase for the children.

I have a Motto at the bottom of my Blog which I believe is very similar :
Stay Positive, Stay Strong, Enjoy Life & Be Healthy