Childhood consists of many blissful elements: Candyland, the zoo and Sesame Street to name a few. The subject of pharmacy typically gets left off the list. But one College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences professor at Butler University wants to help kids understand what it means to be a pharmacist by writing a children’s book.
Erin Albert, assistant professor of pharmacy, came up with the idea for a children’s book after discussing the idea with her colleagues, many of whom are young mothers.
“I thought it would be awesome to demonstrate the value of pharmacy to younger children,” Albert said.
It’s an idea that three colleges are behind. The Jordan College of Fine Arts, College of Education and COPHS are working together to make this idea a reality.
And although the idea is Albert’s, the book itself will be put together by three students from each college, including Stacey Scheidler, who is in her sixth year at COPHS.
“When this opportunity presented itself, I jumped right on it,” Scheidler said. “I have worked in a pharmacy for the past four years, and knew that I would be able to provide information regarding how to portray a pharmacist to a child, what a child might remember from being in a pharmacy or how pharmacists relate medications and prescriptions to children.”
The story follows a young boy as he gets sick, visits the doctor and goes to a pharmacy with a prescription in hand. On the way, the boy learns that pharmacists are there to help him.
“Children should not be afraid of pharmacists,” Albert said. “They help make sick people better.”
The tale will be told with rhymes and illustrations— Dr. Seuss style.
“The ultimate goal is to relate what a pharmacist does on a daily basis to a child in hopes of the child becoming a pharmacist in the future,” Scheidler said.
“A lot of children grow up want[ing] to be a doctor or a firefighter,” said Laura Kramer, a senior strategic communication major who is volunteering on the project.
Many children do not have a basic understanding of pharmacy or how it helps people, Kramer said. Through colorful images and clever rhymes, children will be able to understand easily the world of pharmacy and hopefully inspire them to want to learn more.
Working on the book has been a group effort, which Scheidler said has not always been easy, but the efforts are going to pay off.
“We have created a great book so far and will continue to work hard until the book is sent to the publisher,” Scheidler said.
The gang of nine is working to meet a Dec. 15 publishing deadline. Their hope is to have the book printed and available by May.