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Posted: November 09, 2021

Frankie and Pearl – New School Program and Video Premieres!

A Lesson from Frankie and Pearl: Facial Differences in the Classroom” is a brand-new school program with a mission to educate kids on what it means to have a facial difference - promoting inclusion, diversity, and equality in the classroom and beyond.  

In our last community survey, 82% of family members of individuals living with facial differences expressed concerns about bullying and teasing at schools. This school program is a direct response from AboutFace.  

The program is centered on Frankie and Pearl, an animated video that tells the story of Frankie, a girl with a birthmark, navigating her first day at her new school.  The corresponding lesson plans for the video are catered to students from Kindergarten to Grade 6.  

AboutFace is the only charity in Canada providing support to individuals with facial difference of any age. From years of working with children with a facial difference, it is clear there is a gap within education and awareness of facial differences in school communities.   

Ani Spooner, narrator of the video, shares “As a facially different person, I find it so important that we see ourselves reflected accurately in media and entertainment. The most wonderful thing about Frankie and Pearl is it's message that we are all just who we are. This means every one of us can see ourselves reflected in this animation.  I am so grateful to take part in such a unique, and revolutionary program that will impact youth in such a positive way.”  

“It was an honor to be asked to be a part of this project, and to get to create a fun and educational film with a strong message. I hope it serves as an effective learning tool for AboutFace far into the future”, states Kurt Firla, Animator of Frankie and Pearl. 

I am so thrilled about the program!” adds Danielle Griffin, the Executive Director of AboutFace. “As a society, we’re behind in recognizing that people with facial differences continue to encounter barriers to education, employment, and other basic opportunities.”  

“To be accepted by her new friends, was always her biggest dream.” Frankie represents every kid. Her desire to be welcomed, to make new friends, to be accepted – is universally shared. 

This program is AboutFace’s effort to create a healthy foundation for youth to grow and learn from.

Watch the video in both English and French.
Click here to access the lesson plans.

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