Noticing a trend toward screens, ECT Jesse is trying to bring back books
The Sector > Provider > General News > Noticing a trend toward screens, ECT Jesse is trying to bring back books

Noticing a trend toward screens, ECT Jesse is trying to bring back books

by Freya Lucas

May 02, 2023

Jesse Hewitt is not the first early childhood teacher (ECT) to notice a trend toward children and screen time. He may, however, be one of the few who tackles the issue head on. 


Jesse first noticed the change in children’s behaviour when he was working as a swimming teacher. Where once he would see children spending their breaks outside of the pool reading a book, they were now heads down and tails up, engaging with a screen. 


It was here that inspiration was born for his series of children’s books, created in partnership with illustrator Julian Steincke, with a view to teaching children important health and wellbeing concepts, such as: balancing screen time, mindfulness, physical health, emotional wellbeing, resilience, and other similar topics. 


The first in the series Raymond the Racoon Misses His Friends addresses screen usage, and includes a section for parents and educators that includes guidelines and prompting questions designed to spark productive conversations between adults and children about appropriate device use. 


Understanding the moral of the story, Jesse says, requires more than just reading the book. 


“We hope that through our stories children will have more positive relationships, better self esteem and a more positive outlook on life,” he continued. 


The stories are suitable for children aged between three and ten years, depending on  how much scaffolding and support is provided by caring adults. 


Sponsorship from Flourish Community Solutions makes the Raymond series commercially viable, and a panel from Early Childhood Australia has also reviewed the first book, approving it for their collection. 


“Our vision is that our books will be used as a pedagogical vehicle through which to teach children about important life concepts,” Jesse said. 


The second installment in the Raymond the Raccoon series (which was published last month), teaches children about mindfulness strategies. 


For more information, or to purchase a book, please see here

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