by  Author SissyMarySue (Dr. Wendy Muhlhauser-Tingblad)

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Bullying is explored through an understanding of empathy, connection and the need to belong.  I seek to support and empower youth through the exploration of the dilemma of bullying as it relates to young people's lives today. I plan to do this through the telling of the tale of the bullied cheetah who triumphed through the kindness, compassion and empathy of others in "Jelly Beans the Cheetah and Hope."  

I will define words that I believe can serve to enlighten and empower youth with new vocabulary and understanding. Through the reading, discussion, interaction and the sharing of my personal story of having been bullied, this serves to reinforce the understanding of the concepts and vocabulary.  It is my hope that this combination will offer empowerment in the understanding of the positive impact of connection and empathy.  This has the potential to provide confidence to youth that even what they model, is powerful to those in their lives. My hope is that this experience can offer verbal, and emotional tools from which to operate.  When youth can come from places of empathy and a curiosity to understand themselves and each-other classrooms, communities and countries will be more peaceful.  I believe strongly in Social-Emotional growth (especially in the area of empathy) for youth to be a key component to a peaceful, productive classroom. My work has surrounded this for over 20 years. I am eager to support the wonderful work you are already doing in your classroom.  Below is the full description of the book we will be working from to learn about bullying being circumvented by empathy and kindness.  

Description of "Jelly Beans the Cheetah and Hope" by SissyMarySue
The unlikely pairing of a sad little girl and a captured cheetah discover how much they share in common when they embark on an adventure in friendship. They've both experienced profound loss, but persevere through sharing empathy, kindness, joy, and love. Together they learn about their connection to the human family and to all, which provides for their self-esteem and a feeling of wholeness.

Jelly Beans the Cheetah and Hope is a vehicle for empowering youth with empathy to spring into compassionate action!

Compassionate action refers to the positive impact youth can make in their communities and in the world by caring about the plight of all people. Set in Tanzania, Africa with the Barabaig tribe, the book encourages youth to identify with the characters as they experience difficulty, persevere, model empathy, and then are shown empathy by the tribe. Together, these special friends punctuate our interconnections and further demonstrate our connection to all, including the endangered cheetah, showing that we all belong.

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About This Program


By Request: $80.00

30 & 45 Minute Classes
Please ask for scholarships for schools with high free and reduced lunch.

A second session can be booked as a follow-up with interactive Play Activities


30 & 45 Minute classes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8Public Library: Library Patrons, Library Staff

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:


Primary Disciplines

Brain Research, Character Education, Community Interests, Fine Arts, Foreign/World Languages, Gifted & Talented, Health/Physical Education, International, Language Arts/English, Leadership, Problem Solving, Reading, Social Studies/History, Special Education, Special Needs, Writing

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We will not charge for programs cancelled due to nature i.e. snow days or if there are technical problems that do not allow a connection. Sites will need to reschedule. Sites will be charged the full fee if cancelled within 72 hours of conference.

About This Provider

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Author SissyMarySue (Dr. Wendy Muhlhauser-Tingblad)

St. Cloud, Minnesota
United States

Dr. Wendy Muhlhauser-Tingblad a.k.a SissyMarySue has her Doctorate in Education and an MA in Human Development. 

All youth should be represented in the books they read, in media and technology. They deserve to be fully represented and empowered. I focus on literacy, language development, reading readiness, social-emotional growth (especially EMPATHY & UNITY), critical thinking and global themes. I provide virtual author interactions, in person readings speeches and teacher training.  I am encouraged to have wonderful collaborations. My books are endorsed by Cheetah Conservation Fund, International Elephant Foundation and H2O For Life. 

AWARD WINNING (Globally Mindful, MOM'S CHOICE) & FIVE STAR "Jelly Beans the Cheetah and Hope" has a critical thinking page-with the suggestion to teach it using drama/play for learning with examples. A page is devoted to the Barabaig Tribe's culture too. Conservation and Clean water are offered as ways to apply empathy. I taught from this book long before it was published since I sought to make certain the concepts and ideas were effective with students. It provided best practices to share with educators in how to maximize the learning potential of the book, 

MOM'S CHOICE AWARDED, FIVE STAR- "EMPATHY AIRLINES-Jelly Beans the Cheetah and Hope" Book #2  (Black female pilot and Asian male co-pilot). This is a NEW PROGRAM!

Next will come book #3 "Tristy Sparkles" (Black female teacher & beautifully diverse/inclusive classroom). Books #2 and #3 illustrated by Minneapolis College of Art and Design interns. 
Book #4 Dunnigan Bower is in the illustration phase of development.
 (a beloved Black male teacher, with a beautifully diverse/inclusive classroom). It is again being illustrated by a Minneapolis College of Art and Design intern.  https://www.sissymarysue.org

I am an Author, with an Ed.D (Doctorate in Education) in Leadership for Change with a concentration in Media, Technology and Innovation. I am a Marie Fielding Fellow, lifelong Minnesota educator, lyricist, and playwright. I utilize a variety of modalities to encourage social and ecological justice through story, by the exposure to empathy and Multiculturalism.  I was blown away by the talent and dedication (this was focus on cause- clean water!) of the young people in the first production of "Jelly Beans the Cheetah and Hope" as a MUSICAL PLAY November 2018.  It was Directed by Carrie Carlson- with Children's' Performing Arts Hanifl Performing Arts Center-White Bear Lake, Minnesota.. The second production was April 2019 by the same team to support Birch Lake Elementary Grant they received. 40 3rd -5th graders, in the cast as compared to the cast of 20, 5-15 year old's previously, were also tremendous! We have an Album out of songs from books/plays!  Info on home page...www.sissymarysue.org 

I originated a play/drama for learning technique in my previous education business- Jelly Beans Creative Learning. I apply my experience in having trained teachers. I developed my knowledge base from having taught multi-city programming and provided in school projects. I was an Adjunct Faculty for the Graduate School of Education- Hamline University with my technique. Foreign language & diversity are still a focus. I share messages of our connection as the human family, our world community. 

AWARD WINNING (Globally Mindful) & FIVE STAR "Jelly Beans the 

Dr. Wendy Muhlhauser-Tingblad

Program Details


1)This program begins with this quote. "Connection provides us with a sense of our wholeness, it empowers us with empathy, true confidence and boldness." I share, We all seek to belong, It hurts when we do not.
2) We review the vocabulary words quickly. This can be the learners, the teacher and me taking turns. the length and manner of this is suited to age of group as are other dimensions of format.
3) Introduce- Jelly Beans the Cheetah was bullied in "Jelly Beans the Cheetah and Hope."
4) Read all of book or small portions (depends on length of program) to show the demonstration of the bullying the cheetah endured.
5) How was the cheetah bullied, who helped (empower) him and encourage his confidence (self-esteem)? How did they do that? "You've persevered and found your self-esteem." was said by whom?
6) Where and to whom can bullying happen? Can it happen outside of school? Examples I can think of-how about you? 1) Cyber 2) Playground 3) Verbal 4) Traffic
7) How can empathy be used as a tool to help prevent (circumvent) bullying?
8) The power of empathy love and kindness-I share a story of being bullied but becoming life-long friends.
9) Time allowed for Q & A.


The participant will
-explore empathy as a tool for understanding others
-contemplate the role empathy can play in making peaceful, kind choices with others
-engage in discussion about people who may be more vulnerable to bullying, why, how can we help?
-develop an appreciation for inclusion and modeling kind choices
-List three kinds of bullying you have witnessed or heard about without using names. Just offer the form (examples: cyber, verbal etc.) and place (examples: school, traffic etc.)
-Engage in discussion about empowerment and self-esteem, applying empathy to the emergence of this.