Hi! My name is "Charlie." This is my story about starting school. I was very excited and couldn't wait to go. When we got there, I saw lots of people I didn't know and wanted them all to like me.
But wait 'till you hear what happened! One boy didn't like my name. A girl couldn't tell what I drew in art class. A boy didn't like my shirt. Another boy said I was too tall, and a girl said I was too short. I got all mixed up. I knew what they said wasn't right, but I wanted to please. That's when I became "Charlie Chameleon."
I told my parents what happened - how I kept changing so that everyone would like me. They told me I didn't have to do that. I was okay just the way I was, and real friends would like me just the way I was, too. They said I should believe in myself and always do what I know is right. I should not always listen to what others want me to do, or I won't be who I really am. I'm glad I found this out.
My parents said they liked me just the way I was. That made me very happy! I like me just the way I am, too! And you know what? My real friends were very glad I learned to do what I thought was right. They said I helped them want to be who they really are, too. I hope you like my story. XOXOXOXOXO Your friend, Charlie
P.S. "Charlie" has been used in Kindergarten through 4th Grade classes and reviewed by teachers, principals, counselors, psychologists, clergy, parents, and grandparents. The story has been very well received as a fun read and as timely and useful for dealing with issues so prevalent in our society today of bullying, self-image, and the courage to say "NO!" to peer pressure.
About the Author:
Frederick J. Zorn, Ed.D. is an experienced teacher and principal. For over 35 years, he taught and administered at all educational levels -- Preschool / Montessori, Primary, Intermediate / Middle and High School levels, and was an Adjunct Professor of Education.
Dr. Zorn developed K-8th grade innovative curricula, effective materials, and programs to help children optimally learn. He has also published ABR: YOU CAN READ!, a tutoring book for adults who want to improve reading skills.
Dr. Zorn has a B.A. Degree from Temple University in Psychology and Education, a Master’s Degree and Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in Curriculum and Administration, and Superintendent Certification from Beaver College (Arcadia U.). Dr. Zorn has written articles on education, served as a Curriculum Research Associate at Children’s Television Workshop (Sesame Street), and led Parent and Adult Literacy Workshops around the country.