Cleft/CranioFacial Differences: ccaKids.org · Cleft Palate/CranioFacial Assn.
A craniofacial disorder refers to an abnormality of the face and/or head. Craniofacial differences can result from abnormal growth patterns of the face or skull by birth defect, disease or trauma.
The CCA Kids.org Choose Kind initiative started when the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio was published. Now a national bestseller, the novel is the story of 10-year-old August “Auggie” Pullman, who has a craniofacial condition. As he starts his first year of school after previously being home schooled, he has to face the unique challenges based on his appearance.
Wonder encourages kids to Choose Kind, meaning choose to practice empathy, tolerance, inclusion, and patience. It is changing lives in classrooms across the country and teachers send reports of its impact on their students on a consistent basis.
CCA knew Wonder was an incredible tool for families, students, and communities. They ordered a special edition with our logo, recommended resources, a special foreword from CCA members, and a letter from Palacio. 22,500 copies are being distributed to schools throughout Texas and other states.
My name is Jonathan Siebert, and I have been talking to students in the fifty states as well as Pakistan and Australia about the book Wonder. I share with them my real life Auggie Pullman story and spread awareness to Choose Kind, stop bullying, and educate others to accept people’s facial differences.
My video chats with classrooms have made me so happy — the feedback I’ve been getting is that I am changing people’s lives. I have also talked to classes in person, which have created memories I will never forget. It also was a good way for me to get through a tough time when my father passed away. One of my favorite experiences in the classroom was teaching Zumba after telling my story, as I am a certified Zumba instructor.