“We’re Going to be O.K.”

New COVID-19 Children’s Book Helps Kids and Parents.

Two months into the pandemic while sheltering in place, Alyse Garber Craun, a University of Virginia alumna, came across an article in her college newspaper about two African-American, female physicians—Ebony Jade Hilton and Leigh-Ann Webb. They co-authored We’re Going to Be O.K., a children’s book designed to help parents within communities of color find practical ways to talk to their kids about COVID-19.

Cover of new COVID-19 children's book, 2020 The book’s ability to share important public health information and perspectives from people of color was particularly interesting to Craun, who serves on the board for the Bexar County Medical Society Alliance. Working with the BCMSA, she helped distribute reusable masks to ZIP codes hardest hit by COVID-19 and suggested the organization also print hard copies of the book to be disseminated with the masks.

Craun is keenly aware of how Black and Hispanic communities in the United States are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. San Antonio already has the highest percentage of people living in poverty among the nation’s 25 most populous metropolitan areas, and long-standing health and education disparities have only heightened during the pandemic.

Although the authors generously made the book available as a free download, Craun knew that many San Antonio families would still lack access.

“Unfortunately, the digital divide runs deep in San Antonio,” she said, recalling the widening gap for families who lack home computers and reliable internet access amid COVID-19.

After gaining copyright permissions, Craun reached out to local print shop owner Jorge Zeldon-Castillo of OCD Printing to create hard copies of the book. He offered to print and donate 100 books.

“We hope that this has given families an accessible tool for discussing and coping with this difficult new reality.”

When the demand for more books increased, the H. E. Butt Foundation became a strategic partner. Leveraging its capacity-building program, which serves nearly 20 local nonprofits, the Foundation provided financial support to help print, produce and disseminate books into communities through this trusted network of local partners.

“The Bexar County Medical Society Alliance is so grateful to the H. E. Butt Foundation and OCD Printing for helping us share this engaging book with families across San Antonio as we face the worst pandemic most of us have seen in our lifetime,” says Craun. “We hope that this has given families an accessible tool for discussing and coping with this difficult new reality.”

Drs. Hilton and Webb, who are also moms, along with illustrator Ashleigh Corrin Webb, hope the book will be a helpful way for parents and kids to talk and share their feelings about the pandemic.

“Many children will experience devastating loss in the form of increased economic hardship, domestic violence exposure, or the death of loved ones to name a few,” said Dr. Webb. “This book was written to help grown-ups educate children about the novel coronavirus, to give children hope, and to empower children with simple ways to make sense of the chaos coronavirus has caused in our society and their homes.”

She created a worksheet page with activities to give child readers creative liberty to express emotions. Cartoon faces are illustrated to help signal that it’s okay to feel the full spectrum of emotions and to grieve all losses, both big and small. Webb said that when kids draw a face displaying how they feel rather than writing or talking about it with a grown-up, it may help them initiate some of those hard conversations.

Feelings worksheets, COVID-19 children's book, 2020

“We wanted to clear up some of the overwhelming rhetoric that children were left largely unaffected by this virus. We now know, unfortunately, this is not entirely true.”

Dr. Hilton, who also co-wrote the book, said she hopes it will be the first of a series of resources. “We wanted to clear up some of the overwhelming rhetoric that children were left largely unaffected by this virus. We now know, unfortunately, this is not entirely true,” said Hilton.

“COVID-19 illuminated many disparities that already existed for Brown and Black families, and with schools reopening in San Antonio, it’s a challenging time for parents and their kids,” said Perri Rosheger, the H. E. Butt Foundation’s vice president of community engagement and communications. “We’re excited about our partnerships with local nonprofits and helping to bring such an incredible resource into local communities.”

Megan Legacy, Chief Executive Officer of SA Hope Center and a participant in the Foundation’s capacity building program, said it felt great to distribute copies of the book through their nutrition assistance program to families. The organization has already distributed 250 books in English and 250 in Spanish.

“We pray these books will spread safe living and joy for families,” said  Legacy.

To date, the H. E. Butt Foundation and BCMSA volunteers have distributed over 1,000 copies across the city.

Download the book!

Click below for a full download of "We're Going to be O.K." by Drs. Ebony Jade Hilton and Leigh-Ann Webb.


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