Boys Town Press is the publishing division of Boys Town, an amazing organization founded in Omaha, Nebraska by an Irish priest, Father Edward Flanagan.
Boys Town Press is a mission-driven organization, whose publications are based on the proven techniques used in their Boys Town Programs. At Boys Town in Omaha, teachers and counselors work in challenging environments with children who have multiple needs.
Boys Town Press has a mission of strengthening children, families, and communities through life-changing care, and when you purchase their books you support this important mission.
Thanks to the good folks at Boys Town Press, I have a lovely gift bundle of children’s educational picture books, as a prize for one lucky reader to win.
But before I share the details of how to enter our giveaway, let’s first take a look at the wonderful work of Boys Town and, of course, we’ll explore its deep Irish connections.
Achievements Of Irish Immigrants To The United States:
In Ireland we often lament the loss of our people from rural communities, through years and years of emigration.
Ireland’s great loss, however, has been of great benefit to other countries. The positive and lasting impact of Ireland’s immigrants can best be seen in the United States.
The Irish American contribution to the economic, political and cultural life of the United States is remarkable. Our people have always been our greatest and most amazing export.
One Irish immigrant who truly made a difference in his new homeland, was Edward Flanagan from County Roscommon, the founder of Boys Town.
Father Edward Flanagan:
Edward Flanagan came from a large Irish family and was the eighth of 11 children born to John and Nora Flanagan. Born in 1886, in the townland of Leabeg, in Ballymoe on the Roscommon-Galway border, he was educated at Summerhill College in County Sligo.
His brother was first to leave Ireland and in 1906 he Edward departed his native land with his sister, and joined their brother in America.
He studied for the priesthood in Dunwoodie, New York, and in Italy and Austria, before being ordained a priest in 1912.
He served as a priest in Nebraska from the time of his ordination.
Poverty In Omaha:
In the early years of the 20th century, industrialization was spreading across America. Machines were replacing people, and many workers were exploited for low wages. Poverty was widespread in Nebraska.
On Easter Sunday, March 23rd, 1913 a monster tornado ripped through Omaha, wreaking havoc on the city. The devastating twister killed 94 people, and damaged over 3,000 buildings, making many people homeless.
As a priest, Father Flanagan believed it was his responsibility to actively care for the homeless and especially homeless children.
A Belief In The Goodness Of Each Person:
Father Edward Flanagan believed firmly in the goodness of each and every person.
He argued that “there are delinquent environments but never delinquent boys”.
He is also quoted as having said:
“There’s no such thing as a bad boy.”
~ Father Edward Flanagan
At a time when punishment was seen as the only way of correcting bad behavior, many thought Father Flanagan to be naive.
But this Irish priest believed that every person is created in God’s image, and refused to believe juvenile delinquency should be solely blamed on the young people themselves.
And so, he founded Boys Town, where boys between the ages of 10 and 16 could receive an education and learn a trade. His vision was an example of practical holiness, and became immortalized in the 1938 Film, Boys Town. Spencer Tracy won an Academy Award for his performance as Father Flanagan.
Boys Town Press Approach:
Here’s what the good folks at Boys Town Press have to say about their approach to educational publications:
“At Boys Town, we believe that every child, regardless of circumstance, deserves the opportunity to succeed. We also recognize that every child is an individual with unique needs. That’s why, over many decades, we have developed a distinctive, research-based approach to achieving our vision which has proven successful for tens of thousands of children and families.”
“At Boys Town Press, we partner with in-house and outside experts to develop high quality, innovative books, videos, activities, and lessons for educators, counselors, youth care professionals, children, and families. These resources align with, support, and reinforce the Boys Town Model® and Boys Town Education Model®.”
The Books In Our Giveaway:
The prize in our giveaway is a gift bundle of five picture books for young children, created by Boys Town Press. These books hold uplifting and character building messages.
Here’s a quick look at each story:
Amelia is feeling smothered by all her responsibilities.
Can she learn a few simple strategies to manage her stress?
She has softball practice, tons of homework, icky chores and, to top it off, she wasn’t even invited to Samantha’s Friday night birthday bash blowout.
All her stress and negative thoughts produce a noticeable stench around her head… Amelia has stinking thinking! And it might be contagious because her friends have it too.
Will Amelia’s mom come through with a surefire cure for those rotten thoughts, or will Amelia be stuck with the stink?
Cora June and her classmate, Wilson, are locked in a battle of wills. Each one desperately wants to be the ultimate decider.
They scream at each other about whether to play dodge-ball or soccer at recess. They get into a tug of war over a Popsicle. Each wants to dictate where to go on the next class trip!
Can these two opinionated, wanna-be leaders compromise or agree to anything?
Using rhymes and easy to relate to situations, this story offers valuable lessons about the power of compromise and why the best leaders are never afraid to negotiate.
Betsy the Beetle has a constant companion, Murray. Unfortunately, he’s a notorious and pesky worry bug. He loves to whisper horrible “what ifs” into Betsy’s ear, making her worry about every little thing.
Betsy gets so flustered and weighed down by Murray, she repeatedly falls flat on her back – stuck legs up – and has no idea how to get back on her feet. That’s why Betsy’s friends hatch a plan to get rid of Murray once and for all.
Will it work? Will Betsy be able to kiss her worry bug goodbye forever?
This is a tale about trying to stop anxiety in its tracks
When he rushes home after an exhausting night of baseball, the last thing Braden wants to hear is Mom and Dad harping about everything he must finish on his to-do list. Of course, they wouldn’t be on his case if he actually paid attention and did what he needed to do.
From chores at home to questions on a quiz, Braden never checks his work for mistakes or to see if he missed anything.
Is there a solution to his sloppiness? Yes… but will Braden be willing to try it? Can he become a master of self-monitoring?
Self-monitoring can be challenging to understand for children and skills such as completing work accurately and completely, staying on task, following instructions the first time, waiting to be called on, and getting the teacher’s attention appropriately can be challenging to master.
When the new kid in class, Skyler Blue, wows everyone with tales of wild adventure – riding camels, exploring pyramids, and going on safari – it leaves Parker Plum feeling small, insignificant, and plain old ordinary. To Parker’s surprise, it’s him, not Skyler, who encounters a mystical black cat during the class field trip.
Can this furry feline convince Parker to start thinking like a C-A-T and realize he’s just as special and interesting as everyone else?
Boys Town Press has graciously provided me with copies of these five picture books. One lucky reader will win this gift collection of children’s books.
To enter simply leave a comment on this blog post by noon Eastern Time on Saturday, February 8th, 2020.
Any comment will do. What you write does not affect your chance of winning, but if you need inspiration why not tell us if you have a favorite children’s picture book or if you have read any Boys Town Press publications.
A winning comment will be chosen randomly. Remember to leave your e-mail so that I can contact you should you win. Your e-mail won’t be published, just used to contact our lucky contestant for mailing of the prize.
The winner will be announced on Saturday, February 8th, 2020, at the bottom of this blog post.
You may check out Irish American Mom’s complete terms and conditions for sweepstakes’ entries by clicking here.
Many thanks to everyone for stopping by to learn about the legacy of Father Edward Flanagan, and how Boys Town Press is continuing his mission to this very day. And a big thank you to Boys Town Press for sharing these lovely children’s books with us.
Update – Winners Chosen On February 8th, 2020:
Our lucky winner has been randomly chosen using the Pick Giveaway Winner Plug-in for WordPress.
And the lucky reader is ….
I’ll send our winner an email to help coordinate mailing of her prize.
A big thank you to everyone for supporting this giveaway by leaving comments and for checking out these wonderful educational books. And many thanks to Boys Town Press for sharing this book with us.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom
Disclosure: I received free, advanced copies of these five picture books for review purposes from Boys Town Press. This post reflects my honest and unbiased thoughts about these works.
Illustrations courtesy of Boys Town Press.