A Storybook Adventure

As a new project for our JRYC council this year, we’ve decided to write a Hepatitis B-themed children’s book that will be placed hopefully throughout many Bay Area hospital waiting rooms. Through our book, our aim is not only to entertain little kids in the waiting room but also to spread awareness to their parents as they read our book.

We recently began constructing the plot line of the book, and I must say, it wasn’t as easy as it seemed. At first, we thought we could just sit down, think of a plot, and be done, just like that. However, there were many details we needed to consider. We had to think about book size, text size, image style, writing style, and so much more. Then, with each decision, we had to reflect how a typical six to ten year old might react.

A few of us met up at Borders during a weekend, hoping the children’s section might inspire our juvenile selves to brainstorm what younger kids wanted to read about. We sifted through a few of the popular books: Dr.Seuss, Where the Wild Things Are, and other stories, trying to find a pattern between the story lines, diction, visuals, and so on. We even consulted child psychology for a while, learning about the different issues children face at specific ages in their mental development.

With all our new knowledge, we faced the greater task of applying the skills of writing a children’s book to creating a book relevant to our cause. We needed to simplify our facts. In addition, we needed to add small subtleties like names and phrases that would resonate with the kids, so it would be better ingrained in their heads.

Over the course of many laughs and interesting conversations, we finally began to write, deciding on a book with little text and wide vibrant photos. That said, we knew our words would have to be concise and simple. At one point, we even stopped a little boy finding books with his mother to ask if he understood what the word “vial” meant. Unfortunately, i guess vial was not a part of a 7year-old’s vocabulary so we didn’t use it in during our writing. As time passed, it surprisingly came somewhat easier with so many minds churning; maybe we just had rediscovered our childish natures.

We’re still in the process of working on the book but we’re making progress. Look forward to our end product within the next few months to find out what adventure our main character Jade  goes on!

Michelle Lo

A Merry Caroling

Today was my first JRYC event, which was caroling at Cupertino Village while also educating the public about Hepatitis B. With our Santa hats and Team HBV shirts, we sang Christmas songs and dispersed into groups to outreach to people. Words truly cannot explain what we experienced. We got a lot of weird looks by shoppers as we struggled just to start the song with the right pitch. This is when I realized what the veteran JRYC members meant by staying brave and not allowing the awkward stares to intimidate us. Once we started it, however, it got easier. We began to sing with our wonderful voices as we moved from one place to another to garner more publicity. I am sure that the families and customers must have had a delightful musical afternoon at Cupertino Village.

I have mixed feelings about the outreach we did. It was definitely hard to be rejected, but it was also very encouraging when some people were willing to stop and listen to some teenagers promote Hepatitis B awareness. We also got some good experience with elevator pitches.

I just want to say good job to everyone for staying positive through all of this experience. I also want to give a big thank you to all the club members who came to help us, and also Ann for watching over us.

As my first JRYC event, this was great. I got a chance to bond with several members who I did not have the chance to talk with before, and now I am definitely excited for the upcoming events!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Stephanie Liu