Teacher Chanel Ashford is now a published author. She created a children’s book she named “Colour Me JBC Fruits”. Ashford was inspired to create the book while during research after she was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder. Her diagnosis prompted her to eat well and wants children to do so too. Ashford hopes that her book would have a positive impact on children and this week she gave Sandhill Primary School students copies of Colour Me JBC Fruits. Hipolito Novelo reports.
Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: Twenty-eight-year-old Belizean teacher and now published author of a children’s book, Chanel Ashford, was diagnosed in 2019 with an auto-immune disorder, forcing her to improve her health.
Chanel Ashford, Teacher and Author: “I’m a school teacher and I realized that a lot of the things that helped me get better are made from fruits and vegetables that are from Belize.”
Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: Ashford did research and during that process she was inspired to make a positive impact through her book “Color Me JBC Fruits” published by her own company Grace Bank Creations.
Chanel Ashford, Teacher and Author: “I started this book when I realized that a lot of my students and a lot of children are not familiar with certain types of fruits if they don’t see them every single day. So things like Tambran, soursop, things like Noni those fruits are not common to them so they don’t have it available to them often. So I designed this to raise awareness to build diversity, to help them throughout their language skills. It’s filled with fruits from Belize and fruits from around the world. So from Papaya to orange, to Mango, to Noni, to Soursop, to Tambran, all of those things come together in this book to give them access to diverse fruits. This says “Color Me JBC.” JCB stands for Juice By Chanel which is the juice company I started to help me get better and to improve my health and also to improve health of those around me and my community and my family and my friends.”
Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: Ashford spent a year to design and finalize this book- number one out of ten she plans to publish.
Chanel Ashford, Teacher and Author: “The next book is gonna be for older kids to teach what each fruit is good for for their body so it helps build nutritional understanding to help them want to try new fruits because it’s good for them. So this one is book number one. Right now there’s about ten different books that are gonna come after it. So coloring, numbers, writing, sight words, sentences from zero to about ten years old so about kinder, standard one, standard two and up.”
Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: This week, Ashford visited Sandhill Primary School, which she had adopted, and handed out packages to excited students.
Chanel Ashford, Teacher and Author: “I attended Sandhill Pre School and that’s where we visited today. We passed out quite a few backpacks and crayons and masks and candy and different things in a little goody bag because that’s where I went to school when I grew up. So I went there because I wanted to show the kids what I created and also to encourage them to also try different fruits as well.”
Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: How does it feel seeing the kids happy receiving the book and their package ?
Chanel Ashford, Teacher and Author: “It feels amazing to see them, to see their families. Their parents brought them out, the teachers there they work so hard to build that foundational knowledge and to help them from a very young age, teachers work so hard so it was awesome to go back and see the kids and see the families and to see the teachers as well and the principal.”
Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: How many books were published and where can parents get them or teachers get them if they want ?
Chanel Ashford, Teacher and Author: “So right now we have about a hundred books in Belize right now. We’re planning on sending some out monthly if they would like some they can message me at Juice By Channel on Facebook and I can get them to them if they want to get them for their kids.”
Reporting for Love News, I am Hipolito Novelo