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Helping Children Through Divorce - B.B. the Bear Nationwide Children's Book.

Charity Event to benefit Oakland County schools and CARE House of Oakland County

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- On September 19, 2008, International Kids Alliance Network (IKAN) will host the second in a series of nationwide children's book charity events to launch the book, You and Me Make Three. Held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills, Mich., and with music provided by the Bare Assets band, the event is part of a national campaign to put "A B.B. Book and Bear in Every School in America."

The book, You and Me Make Three, is narrated by B.B. the Bear and details a gentle story for children to help them cope with the challenges of divorce and separation. The book highlights genuine family experiences and features colorful illustrations of the lovable, bandana-clad B.B. as he travels to both Mom's and Dad's separate homes. From advice about pitching in to help around the house to being a playful friend, B.B. is a compassionate constant companion who provides comfort and security to children going through issues related to divorce.

The book was written by authors, Edna C. Stephens, of Clarkston, Wendy Lokken of Naples FL, and Gwendy Mangiamele of Minneapolis and illustrated by Heather Drescher, of Naples, FL. It includes SMILE Tips for Parents written by Oakland County family law attorney, Richard S. Victor. The authors and illustrator hold national certification for the Sandcastles program, a special child-focused divorce recovery program created by licensed mental health counselor, M. Gary Neuman. Neuman and the Sandcastles Program are recognized by Oprah Winfrey and were recently featured in seven different episodes on her television show.

You and Me Make Three is published by EDCO Publishing of Auburn Hills. B.B., the companion bear to the book, is manufactured by Build-A-Bear workshops.

On each page, teachers, caregivers and parents will find effective SMILE tips (Start Making It Livable for Everyone) that give proven assistance on how to comport themselves during the transition of divorce and help ease children's pain. Written by Victor of Bloomfield Hills, the tips are taken from the SMILE Program he co- created with Oakland County Judge Edward Sosnick. The SMILE program is currently mandated in Oakland County supports and aids divorcing families through the Michigan Friend of the Court. Victor is also the founder of the Grandparents Rights Organization and the Victor Smile Foundation, which donates 100 percent of the royalty received from the sale of You and Me Make Three to purchase books and bears for schools, children's charities and libraries.

John Landis, President of the Oakland Schools Education Foundation, says, "The Foundation believes You and Me Make Three will assist many teachers, students and parents through the emotional process of separation and divorce. Using the book and bear in the classroom will also help children who aren't involved with divorce to better understand the feelings of those who are."

Dr. Vickie L. Markavitch, Superintendent, Oakland Schools, agrees. "We are fortunate that our Oakland County schools have been selected by the International Kids Alliance Network to receive donations of the book and bear for every school library. They will be a valuable resource to teachers and students. Oakland Schools is pleased to endorse this charitable event and to assist in the distribution of these books and bears when they become available."

Pat Rosen, Executive Director, CARE House of Oakland County states, "In any family where change is happening, children need comfort and stability. A cuddly bear represents those feelings to a child. CARE House is delighted to be associated with such a worthwhile endeavor."

You and Me Make Three with B.B. Bear made its official debut on March 12 at the First Charity Book Event held in Naples, Florida in partnership with the Educational Foundation of Collier County. The event raised nearly $130,000 to kick off "A B.B. Book and Bear in Every School in America" campaign. Approximately 1,000 book and bear packages were provided to Collier and Lee County Schools, children's charities and other schools in more than 26 states. The project continues to grow in success as the book and teddy bear drive moves to Michigan. You and Me Make Three and B.B. Bear recently received an iParenting media award from the Disney media group and were also selected as a Platinum Hermes Creative Award winner from 4,000 entries.

A portion of proceeds from the September 19 charity event will benefit CARE House of Oakland County and Oakland County schools, International Kids Alliance Network and the Victor SMILE Foundation. For more information about tickets for this event, book signings, and how to donate a B.B. book and bear to a teacher or school, please visit, or call 248-475-4688.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jul 9, 2008
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