Smart Tools for Life provides memorable and engaging books and music for young children that enhance their “smarts” for problem-solving, empathy, and compassion, and sink deeply — for life — into children’s hearts and minds.

WILMINGTON, NC, July 13, 2018 /24-7PressRelease/ — Refugee children are now at the forefront of our reality. Every country struggles with what to do with the burgeoning numbers of people crossing borders to flee some sort of misery. Fundamental problems of governance and resource distribution create challenges far beyond the attention spans of most of us, as we navigate our busy lives.

So why should we care about these immigrants and/or refugee children? Even if a moral argument doesn’t sway us, it’s in our own self-interest to care. Logic leads to the simple conclusion that it’s much more expensive to treat illnesses than to prevent them.

While many Americans believe they are powerless to help with this problem, it is in fact within the grasp of every one of us to make a real difference – regardless of our location, education, economic status or political affiliation. Julie Penshorn, children’s book author, Director of Smart Tools For Life, and expert in conflict resolution and anger management skills for children believes the answer lies in long-term efforts at building healthy communities with the capacity for empathy.

Building healthy communities starts with our own children, as the basic skills we teach to small children are essential for interactions throughout their lives. These skills can routinely be practiced in the home, the classroom, the workplace, and on the international level, to create trust, transform conflict, and enhance relationships.

Penshorn recently issued a statement on her website that offers these six simple suggestions for growing healthy communities:

1. Hold your child or grandchild in your lap and read a bedtime or daytime story. Pick an educational book like “The Barnyard Buddies STOP for Peace” or our new book “I Can See Peace”.

2. Demonstrate compassion as your child learns. Listen to them! Create realistic boundaries for behavior, and correct children in respectful ways when they make mistakes.

3. Listen when people that have different points-of-view try to convince you they are right and you are wrong. Don’t automatically shut them down. Listen with real open ears. Say, “I’ll have to think about that.” It’s very honoring to the other person to know they encouraged you to think. Don’t dismiss people out-of-hand because their opinions are different. Try to avoid unfriending them!

4. Watch and read diverse media. A singular media diet can become addictive and unhealthy, just like only eating one food!

5. Read books yourself and with your children that include multicultural and diverse individuals. That way the foreign becomes the familiar.

6. Learn about Adverse Childhood Experiences and their comprehensive consequences. Recent research shows how critically children are suffering in this country from the consequences of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). ACEs contribute to tremendous long-term suffering and health issues for both immigrants and our own population.

Penshorn encourages those seeking more ideas to visit her website: The Smart Tools for Life products include kids’ books and music, conflict resolution cubes to help children express their feelings, and wearables. There is also a free, downloadable coloring page for kids, based on the flagship children’s book, “The Barnyard Buddies Stop For Peace.”

Penshorn is now making this book and music, and other unpublished books like ‘I Can See Peace,’ (currently available in Kindle only) available for corporate sponsorships and as fundraising tools for like-minded schools and preschools. She asks that anyone who would like to learn more contact her by email. ‘I Can See Peace’ will also be available as a print book on International Peace Day, September 21, 2018.

In Penshorn’s first children’s book, “The Barnyard Buddies STOP for Peace,” the Barnyard Buddies start with the letter S – which stands for STOP and breathe, and then go through a complete conflict resolution process using the letters S-T-O-P.

This process, which works equally well for adults, according to Penshorn, continues to an examination of feelings and concerns of each party, through brainstorming solutions and ends with making a plan. The stated goal is to enhance relationships, develop creativity, and recognize that conflict doesn’t have to be a win/lose proposition.

Author Julie Penshorn, MBC, is a the Director of the nonprofit, Growing Communities for Peace and champion of its Smart Tools for Life project. Penshorn co-authored an preK-3 curriculum on conflict resolution, complete with hands-on-learning tools, that is in use in over 13,000 locations. Now, she’s focusing her unique talents on children’s books and music and a blog-based approach to supporting peace literacy and building a culture of peace.

Author Julie Penshorn is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at [email protected]. More information about the books, music and other products is available on the website at

Smart Tools for Life is an ongoing project of the nonprofit, Growing Communities for Peace. It provides memorable and engaging books and music for young children that enhance their “smarts” for problem-solving, empathy, and compassion, and sink deeply — for life — into children’s hearts and minds. It makes it easy to bring social skills for peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding, to young children, thereby encouraging more harmonious, sustainable relationships with others and the planet.

Their materials are designed to develop peace literacy as they educate, entertain, and empower all those involved to strengthen families, classrooms, and neighborhoods. They also provide other teacher and parent education to support and maintain a culture of peace.

For the original version of this press release, please visit here