Who is CJ?
CJ’s history has had quite an impact on my life for past 30 years. Years ago, I had realized that my life and its struggles were a result of the choices I had made. These choices resulted from an unhealthy belief system that I had learned as a child. I was taught very little of what was good and lovable about me and these negative voices took me well into adulthood. It is so true that “We are the Voices we Hear”!
The first design of CJ looked somewhat different than he does now however, the basic concepts and messages are the same. The name CJ stands for Creator of Joy and I chose him to be a star for I always wanted to be someone’s shining star. He was created with 7 points, for in all my research and self-actualization journey experiences, I had discovered 7 main themes. They were:
- Positive self-talk
- We choose everything
- Service builds feelings of worth
- Affirmations help to quiet the mind
- Forgiveness and accountability
- We are all one and playing sustains hope
- Gratitude takes us from victim to empowerment
The 7 main themes correspond to the 7 points in CJ’s star and the 8 characters in the Voices of CJ program.
The Voices of CJ
The Voices of CJ is a children’s program to promote behaviors that develop healthy emotional brains. Knowing the charisma of characters, I created CJ and his family of characters to enthrall children into listening, hearing and modeling the behaviors that would help them develop socially and emotionally. I believe that there is no reason to give any child the thought that they are unlovable. That one thought may have changed the course of my life. CJ and his family of characters became my vehicle for teaching children the seven attributes of Emotional Intelligence (EQ).
When I started my dream, there were very few preschool programs and so I had written the initial program for elementary school age children. However, as the program evolved with all the new research available (for example, children’s emotional brain grows the fastest from birth to six), I felt that the CJ program needed to be introduced in the preschool setting. The program was piloted in preschools in the South Jersey area. It was successful in each setting although they were in different socioeconomic arenas and with children of varying levels of ability in the same classroom. The teachers and I worked together to create a comprehensive program complete with the materials that they would need. I am truly grateful to these teachers.
It is now 2017 and CJ and the “Voices of CJ” program is moving forward in many directions. We now have a Parent Package with the updated Parent Guide that includes teaching the seven attributes of EQ with CJ and his family of characters along with the children’s book. We have the Teacher Package that includes the Teacher Guide teaching the seven attributes of EQ with CJ and his family of characters along with the children’s book. There is a complete array of materials for teachers and parents on our website and Amazon. We have new pilots in 3 locations and will be updating news and pictures from them on a regular basis. There are statewide conferences for parents and teachers taking place. CJ is visiting libraries and will have a presence on YouTube with videos demonstrating how to teach children the “Voices of CJ” program.
The CJ program is a wonderful way for children to feel good about themselves, foster independence and enhance self-esteem. Children are drawn to CJ. It really works! Thank you so much for bringing this wonderful program to us. It has truly made a difference!Cindy/Program Director
I believe the CJ program helps people (especially children) of all ages get in touch with their positive emotions. I like the message of the program and feel by following the program daily, people (especially children) will begin to feel and lead happier lives. As I go around to the classroom, I can hear the children talking about “happy thoughts.” The children completely understand the concept of CJ. Please continue working with children on helping them get in touch with their feelings, this is the key to helping them grow into healthy adults.Karen/ School Social Worker
Our child and the children in her preschool class really enjoyed participating and learning from the CJ program. Her teacher loved seeing the children’s enthusiasm and joy while they were also exploring positive attitudes about themselves and others. With all the negative elements in the world today, there is a need for developing programs that explore the positive side of our nature. Having a program in the school curriculum such as “CJ” is one good way to accomplish this. Children who feel good about themselves and others have a positive role in making our world a nice place in which to work and play.Tom and Barbara/ Parents