Through their partnership with CAMFED, Our Story is increasing access to education for girls in rural communities
London, England – With bright, colorful illustrations and an engaging, educational focus, the new “Our Story” book series introduces young readers to influential historical figures, many of whom are overlooked in Western curriculums. Written for children ages 8-12, Our Story books transport readers all over the world, inspiring the next generation to fulfill their potential. Complete with pronunciation guides, engaging activities, and supplementary educational resources, each Our Story book is designed to meet the needs of teachers and maximize classroom learning.
In a recent BBC London interview with host Shay Kaur, Our Story co-founder Fahad Siddiqui discussed the need for more global education resources. As we find ourselves in an increasingly connected world, it’s crucial that kids have access to information about historical role models from all over the globe.
Part of Our Story’s dedication to making the world a better place includes a partnership with the educational nonprofit CAMFED. For each physical copy purchased, Our Story will work with CAMFED to fund a full day’s education for an underprivileged girl.
Our Story | June 21, 2023 | Children’s Nonfiction, Biography, History
Paperback | ISBN: 979-8399082608 | $11.99
Our Story | March 15, 2023 | Children’s Nonfiction, Biography, History
Paperback | ISBN: 979-8387041402 | $11.99
Also by Our Story Media Group…
Aliens help kids with social and emotional learning!
The Secret Alien Diaries: Join Zig Zag, Click Clack, Flip Flop, and Bob on their journey of discovery on planet Earth!
This new series for kids ages 5-8 empowers readers to form healthy habits. By teaching secret alien friends how to behave on earth, kids learn self-discipline in an engaging and fun way! Each book focuses on aspects of cognitive, creative, communicative and physical growth.
In the first installment, “Mission: Bedtime,” alien Click Clack stays up too late playing video games and struggles with feeling tired the next day. Kids learn how behaviors (such as getting more or less sleep) impact our moods, promoting social and emotional intelligence. At the same time, puzzles, math equations, and other activities help kids develop their cognitive and creative skills.
Praise for Our Story books…
“My year 6 class and I read the book and we were hooked from the beginning by the excellent writing and beautiful illustrations”
–Rhys Ravey, The Royal Grammar School of Guildford, Doha, Qatar
“Wonderful book. A story I am ashamed to say that I was unaware of! I thought the illustrations were particularly striking”
–Mark Sim, Head Teacher at Oakgrove Primary School, UK
“I loved the illustrations…my children were hooked from the start!”
–Sadia Farooq, Parent, Milton Keynes, UK
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In an interview, co-founder Fahad Siddiqui can discuss:
- Where current education systems and curriculums fall short
- The value of multicultural education in our current hyper-connected global reality, and how the Our Story series fills a gap within many history classes
- How providing the next generation with a new set of historical role models builds self-confidence and empathy in students while also enhancing their critical thinking skills
- The importance of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) for kids, and how The Secret Alien Diaries series addresses SEL
- Our Story’s partnership with CAMFED and their dedication to making the world a better place through accessible education
- Future plans for Our Story Media Group
An Interview with
1. What makes a truly global, multicultural education so important for future generations? How does the Our Story series fit into this mission?
In today’s world, the significance of multicultural education has amplified, especially with the global connectivity facilitated by the internet. With the digital age, our interconnectedness has reached unparalleled heights, from online gaming to international trade. These digital interactions between individuals from diverse backgrounds have skyrocketed.
Multicultural education is paramount, as stated by the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS). It not only enhances critical thinking but also encourages children to question their own assumptions and biases. By exposing young minds to various perspectives and cultures, multicultural education helps them grasp the intricate tapestry of the world around them.
This philosophy seamlessly aligns with our mission: “to empower the next generation through engaging and comprehensive educational tools that fill gaps in traditional curricula, fostering well-rounded individuals.” Without an understanding of the incredible achievements and contributions from diverse individuals, our collective potential remains undiscovered, hindering the development of a truly collaborative society.
2. Why did you choose Mansa Musa and Fatima Al-Fihri as your first two historical role models?
Mansa Musa’s incredible wealth and obscurity piqued our curiosity when my co-founder, Sami, introduced his story. As we delved deeper into the hidden gems of history, we compiled a list of over a hundred remarkable individuals whose stories had been largely overlooked by mainstream education.
Among these stories, that of Fatima Al-Fihri resonated profoundly. A refugee woman, she founded the world’s first university in Morocco in 859 AD, a remarkable feat given the circumstances. Recognizing the importance of highlighting these incredible individuals, we embarked on a mission to share their stories, promoting a more profound understanding of human history and its diverse accomplishments.
3. What is the importance of social and emotional learning (SEL)? How is this addressed in The Secret Alien Diaries Series?
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is of paramount importance in education. It equips students with essential life skills, including self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, and relationship-building. These skills not only contribute to academic success but also help students become emotionally intelligent, resilient, and socially competent individuals. It reduces behavioral issues, and enhances students’ overall well-being. Along with SEL we integrate practical teachings to develop positive habits and behaviors for a holistic learning experience. This combination we believe best prepares students to have a health and well-rounded future.
Through captivating storylines and child-friendly aesthetics that resemble a personal diary, in The Secret Alien Diaries we create an immersive experience that resonates with young readers. The inclusion of entertaining alien languages to decode, as well as interactive elements like jumping, singing, and shouting, enhances engagement and fosters a genuine connection with the story. The ‘Missions’ in the book also encourage young readers to develop critical thinking, decision-making, and the development of executive function skills, these skills are equally important to SEL.
4. What resources are available for teachers, librarians and parents to help kids get the most out of these books?
We’ve designed the Our Story series books to be interactive and thought-provoking for kids, with special sections like ‘Let’s Think,’ ‘Let’s Discuss,’ and ‘Let’s Make’ right within the books to stimulate engagement and critical thinking. But, we didn’t stop there. To ensure that this information is fully absorbed and to support teachers, librarians, and parents in guiding children, we’ve created comprehensive ‘Teacher Packs’ for each story. These packs include a condensed one-page version of the story, age-appropriate comprehension questions tailored for Key Stage 1 (Elementary – Grade 1) and Key Stage 2 (Grades 2 – 5), individual and group tasks, fun word searches, and interactive features such as online quizzes. It’s all part of our commitment to making these stories not just entertaining but also highly educational and easy to use in different learning environments.
At the conclusion of each of The Secret Alien Diaries books we have an array of immersive resources designed to enrich children’s learning adventures. Young readers will discover a series of missions intricately connected to the book’s theme. These missions encompass a diverse range of skills, including critical thinking, soft skills, resilience skills, and collaboration skills, all with the intention of fostering healthy habits ensuring a comprehensive educational experience.
Furthermore, our books incorporate interactive activities seamlessly woven into the narrative, enticing kids to actively engage in physical activities like jumping, blowing, and even singing. These hands-on elements infuse the reading journey with enjoyment and interactivity, further bolstering the grasp and retention of essential skills.
5. Can you tell us a bit more about your partnership with CAMFED?
Our partnership with CAMFED, the Campaign for Female Education, is a pivotal part of our mission. For every book we sell, we donate to their One Million School Days Appeal, providing quality education, particularly for underprivileged girls, in Africa. CAMFED is a remarkable organization that breaks down education barriers and empowers young learners.
Educating girls through CAMFED has far-reaching effects:
– It significantly improves their economic prospects, with CAMFED alumnae being 58% more likely to be employed and earning an average of 35% more.
– Education leads to healthier life choices, including delayed marriage and childbirth, resulting in improved maternal and child health.
– It nurtures leadership skills, with CAMFED alumnae being 54% more likely to hold leadership positions in their communities.
6. What’s next for Our Story?
We intend to continue to forge a new educational category and provide content that parents and educators alike are craving. Currently we have two series, The Secret Alien Diaries series and the Our Story series. The Our Story series encourages a more equitable society by exposing readers to the amazing achievements of our predecessors from all over the world. The Secret Alien Diaries mission is to continue to provide content that fills the gap of education in schools for developing a well-rounded, independent individual. We have a few exciting ways to build more tools and features to make these skills accessible and fun for all which we are excited to share with you.
A former award-winning journalist with national exposure, Marissa now oversees the day-to-day operation of the Books Forward author branding and book marketing firm, along with our indie publishing support sister company Books Fluent.
Born and bred in Louisiana, currently living in New Orleans, she has lived and developed a strong base for our company and authors in Chicago and Nashville. Her journalism work has appeared in USA Today, National Geographic and other major publications. She is now interviewed by media on best practices for book marketing.