Alexandria Mother and Daughter author of a series of children’s books to raise awareness of disability

Naevia Thompson and her mother Parris Elliott (Photo: Thompson Family Collection)

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Eight-year-old Naevia Thompson is very creative. She enjoys telling stories and creating comics. Over breakfast with her mother Parris Elliott (who works in special education with Alexandria City Public Schools), she draws or keeps a journal. One day when she was at home during the pandemic she said, “Mom, wouldn’t it be cool if I had magic glasses?”

The little girl’s question planted the seed of “Naevia’s Magic Glasses: The Series”. The collection, the first book of which should be released in the spring, is now in the funding phase. The story, based on real events, is an adventure, starring a main character also named Naevia. One day, Naevia accidentally breaks her favorite pair of glasses. They are replaced by a magical pair that helps her when faced with challenges. While wearing them, she travels to meet famous women throughout American history who help her find solutions.

At home and at school, the always-smiling Thompson has to wear glasses for a disability called retina of prematurity, or ROP for short. The Mayo Clinic describes the disease as “an abnormal growth of blood vessels in the light-sensitive part of the eyes (retina) of premature infants.” Thompson was born at 30 weeks, weighing just three pounds and two ounces.

Elliott wants the series of books to be a learning experience for young readers.

“We hope to inspire children, teach tolerance towards children with disabilities and raise awareness about prematurity through March of Dimes (MoD), a non-profit organization that fights the complications of childbirth,” a- she declared. “Of course, we also aim to make children laugh! “

A Kickstarter campaign is underway to raise $ 8,000 by Christmas Eve. At the time of this writing, the amount raised was close to $ 2,600. There are different levels of donations and sponsorships. The donation page can be found HERE. Part of the funds collected will be donated to the Ministry of Defense.

Elliott thanks the Department of Defense for helping to improve Naevia’s health after birth. The devoted mother is very active with the association as a mission mother and local sisterhood coordinator.

The money will also go towards self-publishing costs, including, but not limited to illustration, editing and advertising. Elliott also wishes to provide copies of the book to all elementary schools in the public school system in Alexandria.

The plan is to publish with Archway, a subsidiary of Simon & Schuster. The company helps self-publishing authors in their goals and provides copies to major retailers.

When asked why she chose a Kickstarter campaign over a publisher of children’s books, Elliott mentioned the often long wait for approval and the desire to publish the series of books.

“A lot of the books currently published about little black girls are not narrated by former little black girls,” she said. “We want to tell our story, support and show tolerance for children with disabilities and, of course, have fun reading! “

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