Prison Is Not A Playground The goal is to raise $3500 to publish a revised and expanded version of the book Prison Is Not A Playground, the first title in the new “Not A Playground” series of educational tools planned to uniquely reach at risk youth. The first edition was written by Antonio Barnes, a current prison inmate, who founded the Save Our Selves (S.O.S.) prison program that helps prisoners to become empowered for change to stop the cycle of recidivism when they return to community life. In today’s hot-tempered world, and especially in at-risk communities, these same “S.O.S” skills are crucially important to the mental health of our next generation. Choosing to be courageous enough to speak up for your values, and learning how to make wise decisions when facing emotionally charged situations are skills to start teaching our children now. Prison Is Not A Play Ground (2nd Edition) is a true story about Bird (Antonio Barnes). The HBO hit series “The Wire” depicts him as the Notorious “Bird,” who has now served 30+ years in prison because he disregarded all the rules and values his parents taught him. After every chapter in this book is a decision section with questions and answers and a space for journal entry. This campaign’s funding will go directly towards helping with: 1. Publication costs of the book 2. Promotion of the book to educational programs and school libraries The revised version needs an editor, an illustrator, and a graphic artist to design new cover art and the new life tree at the end of the book for the student to build. Proceeds from the sales of this book will be used for the following purposes: 70% will be donated equally to these charities: St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Shriner’s Hospitals for Children, and the (NAF) National Academy Foundation School. The remainder will go toward the publication costs of the next installment in the “Not A Playground” Educational Series: “Bullying Is Not A Playground Game” by Antonio Barnes is a guide for student/teacher/parent discussions about bullying. It gives a case report about two young friends, Fatimah and Mardel, who walk to school every day, and are being bullied by two bigger classmates. Being bullied starts to affect their everyday lives. This guide is designed with practical solutions and up to date tips for bullying prevention. Advanced Praise for “Prison Is Not a Playground” My first reaction to Tony’s book was “Wow, some story!” The title of the book is a catchy statement that will immediately get a youth’s attention. The down to earth approach to telling his story in “street language” is effective in keeping the young reader engaged. This is an excellent book to use for an anti-drug program in the schools. There is enough information presented in each chapter for good follow-up discussion and active participation, including journal writing. A prime target audience for this book are at-risk youth, but it is also for all other students, male and female. It is a good common-sense approach to life, its challenges, and the importance of making good choices. There is a greater need for this book today than ever before with the increasing violence, use of hand guns, and the lack of respect for authority and the dignity of human life. -Margaret Kirchgater, Retired teacher and elementary school principal Prison is Not a Playground is one of the rare gems in books for the pre-adolescent: it tells the truth skillfully from the side of real life experience. The truth about how our decisions can affect not only our own futures but the futures for our families and communities as well. This story is a cautionary tale, but also a call to kids to learn how to how to care more about others than about their own social media and street cred profiles. In a world filled with “it’s all about me” mindsets, this is a remarkable transformation story about a young gang punk caught up in his own selfish worldview who transforms into an accomplished renaissance man. He has learned to make the most of his positive opportunities, and by using introspection to his advantage, now serves as a model mentor to all. Antonio Barnes masterfully poses the tough hard-hitting questions about his own experiences-certainly questions all youths need to ask themselves when facing the first fledgling steps of a freefall. The questions he poses to his younger self are the lifesaving self-check steps we all need to consider in today’s modern “me-first” society. As the mother of a prodigal son now mentored by Antonio, I was transfixed by his story- it makes his transformation from “the Bird” to my million-dollar family member even more remarkable. -Dr. Alicia Teasuant

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